“There is and has been a greater need of native doctors than of native lawyers. The Missionaries have educated the native pastors … The native lawyers have educated themselves … but the medical profession, has been like a sealed book …” (Introduction, Anatomia)
“In an early period of the Hawaiian Mission the subject of educating persons for physicians was agitated, but nothing of importance done.” (The Friend, July 1, 1871)
“There was a time when a large proportion of the population applied to the Missionaries for medical aid. The funds of the American Board were largely drawn upon for medicines, and the Missionaries devoted a great deal of time in attendance on the sick …”
“Subsequently the Hawaiian Government undertook to furnish the Missionaries with medicines for the sick; of late years this source of relief has dried up, and even the voluntary practice of the Missionaries has been discountenanced. In places where there are no educated physicians”. (Bushnell)
Dr Gerrit P Judd had published the first medical textbook in 1838, Anatomia, the only medical textbook written in the Hawaiian language. Dr Judd, for a time the only medical missionary in the Islands, wrote the text in 1838 to teach basic anatomy to Hawaiians enrolled at the Mission Seminary (Lahainaluna.)
Working from a standard elementary textbook of the time, Judd provided his students with more than a simple, straight translation. He devised a new vocabulary and explained medical functions and practices in words that would be understood by a Hawaiian.
Judd’s use of Hawaiian terms and descriptions gives us insights into native cultural and healing practices in the early decades of the nineteenth century.
Judd was one of the very few Western doctors in Hawai‘i that was interested in learning about Hawaiian medical practices and remedies. He hired Native Hawaiian assistants and apprentices. (Mission Houses)
Anatomia is a valuable addition to the growing collection of translations on native health and will be greatly appreciated by linguists, historians and students of Hawaiian language and culture. (Mission Houses)
Then, the legislative session of 1868 brought forth An Act to Establish a Hawaiian Board of Health; the preamble noted, “the outer districts of this Kingdom are greatly in want of physicians … it is thought advisable to establish a system of licensing Hawaiian practitioners of medicine ….” (Bushnell)
In 1871, the Hawaiian Evangelical Association admitted “there is a pressing necessity for educating a sufficient number of native pupils to meet the wants of the people and to check the serious and rapidly growing evil … the question arises how and by whom it is to be done.”
They concluded, “It should be conducted in the Hawaiian language, by one or more medical men who understand the language, and are acquainted with the prejudices and superstitions of the people.”
“Pupils when educated should be distributed all over the islands, at least two in every election district, licensed to practice and authorized to charge for their services according to a schedule to be provided for their guidance. They should be under a constant supervision.” (Bushnell)
“The last Legislature of this kingdom (1870) appropriated a sum of money ($4,000) to be expended in educating young men for this purpose. The Vice President of the Hawaiian Board, Dr GP Judd, was appointed to take charge of the instruction of these young men.”
Judd, a medical missionary, had originally come to the islands to serve as the missionary physician, intending to treat native Hawaiians for the growing number of diseases introduced by foreigners.
He immersed himself in the Hawaiian community, becoming a fluent speaker of Hawaiian. Judd soon became an adviser to and supporter of King Kamehameha III.
In May 1842, Judd was asked to leave the Mission and accept an appointment as “translator and recorder for the government,” and as a member of the “treasury board,” with instructions to aid Oʻahu’s Governor Kekūanāoʻa in the transaction of business with foreigners.
In 1846, Judd was transferred from the post of minister of the interior to that of minister of finance (which he held until 1853, when by resignation, he terminated his service with the government.)
“On the 9th of November, 1870, he opened a school with ten pupils. This, we think, is a move in the right direction, and by the blessing of God, may be made the means of counteracting some of the evils, which arise from the number of native doctors among the people, and of prolonging the existence of the nation.” (The Friend, July 1, 1871)
The students included, SW Kaneali‘i, Jr, Kauai – Hanalei;) SK Kauai, Jr (Kauai – Waimea;) John W Kalua (Molokai;) Ceo W Kalopapela (Maui – Waihe‘e;) Henry P Ka‘ili (Maui – Makawao;) John Kalama (Hawai‘i Island – Kohala;) Henry Mana (Hawai‘i Island – Kawaihae;) Kona, S Na‘onohi (Hawai‘i Island – Kona;) Daniel P Aumai (Hawai‘i Island – Kāʻu;) and John Kelia (Hawai‘i Island – Puna.)
Their classwork and lectures were supplemented by a practicum in a dispensary (pharmacy/doctor’s office.) Dr. Judd most likely taught this school at his private hospital and dispensary at 31 Punchbowl St and during visits to the Queen’s Hospital.
Conceived and organized in the manner of one-man medical schools of that time in America, with which he and many of his colleagues would have been familiar, Dr Judd’s school was probably just as good as many of them, and no worse than most. (Bushnell)
The school ended on October 2, 1872, when Laura Fish Judd (Dr Judd’s wife) died. He recommended to the Board of Health that all 10 students be certified and licensed medical physicians. The licenses were issued on October 14, 1872. (Mission Houses)
Judd participated in a pivotal role in Medicine, Finance, Law, Sovereignty, Land Tenure and Governance in the Islands. Gerrit P Judd died in Honolulu on July 12, 1873.
“He was a man of energy, courage and sincerity of purpose. He was an able physician, and he developed great aptitude for the administration of public affairs. The benefit of his talents was freely and liberally given to a people who he knew needed and deserved assistance.” (Hawaiian Mission Centennial Book)