“The pleasant village of Kailua is situated on the west side of Hawaii. It is the residence of the Governor of the Island. It is celebrated in Hawaiian history, as having been the residence for several years of Kamehameha I, and at this place he died, on the 8th of May, 1819, at the age of 66 years.”
“Here was first announced by Royal authority, that the old tabu system was at an end. It was in the quiet waters of this bay, that the brig Thaddeus anchored, April 4th, 1820, which brought the first Missionaries to the shores of Hawaii.”
“The natural features of the lofty mountain of Hualālai, and the rugged and rocky coast remain the same; but changes have been gradually going forward in the habits of the people and the appearance of the village.”
“There stands the village church with its tapering spire, almost a lac-simile of some that anciently stood in the centre of the common in many a New England village.”
“During the summer of 1844, we landed at Kailua to commence a tour of Hawaii. It was on the morning of the 1st of July, and we were kindly invited to take up our brief sojourn at the house of the Rev, Mr. Thurston who with his wife and children had been our voyaging companions on board the Clementine, from Honolulu.”
“The day of our landing happened to be the first Monday of the month, which has been so sacredly consecrated by American Missionaries and the churches of the United States, as a day of prayer for the blessing of God upon the Missionary enterprise.”
“It was pleasant to enjoy one of these sacred seasons, on the spot, so replete with incidents calculated to inspire the friend and lover of the cause with thanksgiving and gratitude. As might naturally be supposed, we had a ‘thousand’ inquiries to make of our venerable Missionary best, who bad been here watching the successive phases and changes of events for the last quarter of a century.”
“From our Journal for July 2d, we copy the following: ‘This morning it was proposed that we visit the village. Our steps were first directed to Governor Adams’ ‘factory,’ a long, and low, thatched building, now occupied as a native dwelling and store house.”
“Here the Governor undertook the manufacture of cotton cloth, and actually succeeded so far as to make several hundred yards.” (The Friend, April 15, 1845)
“Governor Kuakini indeed went so far as to manufacture a very stout kind of cloth in Kailua, Hawaii. It was proposed by the Rev. Mr. Armstrong that prizes in money and of sums which would make them worth contending for should be offered on a graduated scale for say, the three best specimens that may be exposed at the exhibition of this year.”
“It was asserted that this cotton raising is a business which will fall in with the habits of the people, and for which they have always evinced an inclination.” (Polynesian, June 11, 1859)
The cloth making experiment begun at Wailuku was continued; spinning and knitting were undertaken at one or two other stations; cotton growing was taken up by the church members at several places as a means of raising funds for new school and church buildings and to aid the missionary cause in general.
At Haiku, Maui, an American farmer commenced a small plantation, having 55 acres planted in 1838. Governor Kuakini of Hawaii. one of the most business-like of the chiefs, visited Miss Brown’s class at Wailuku in 1835 and conceived the idea of having the industry established on his island.
In 1837 the governor was reported by one of the merchants to have planted an immense cotton field at Waimea, Hawaii. In the same year he erected a stone building at Kailua, thirty by seventy feet, to be used as a factory. A foreigner in his employ made a wheel, from which as a sample the natives made about twenty others.
Wheel heads and cards were imported from the United States. Three poorly trained native women served as the first instructors for some twenty or thirty operatives, girls and women from twelve to forty years of age.
In a comparatively short time they acquired a fair proficiency in the work; by the middle of 1838 a large quantity of yarn bad been spun. Two looms were next procured and a foreigner familiar with their operation.
Members of the United States exploring squadron visited the factory in 1840, and the commander of the expedition wrote that the foreigner just mentioned ‘was engaged for several months in the establishment, during which time he had under his instruction four young men, with whom he wove several pieces of brown stripes and plaids, plain and twined cotton cloth.’
‘After this time, the natives were able to prepare and weave independently of his aid. Becoming dissatisfied, however, all left the work, together with the foreigner; but after some time they were induced to return to their work. This small establishment has ever since been kept up entirely by the natives.’ (Kuykendall)
Kuakini’s “scheme failed probably from the fact that the Governor found it cheaper to buy coarse cottons than to make them.” (The Friend, April 15, 1845)
Follow Peter T Young on Facebook
Follow Peter T Young on Google+
Follow Peter T Young on LinkedIn
Follow Peter T Young on Blogger