This is a series that chronicles the voyage of the Thaddeus – the trip in 1819 – 1820 by the first American Protestant missionaries to Hawai’i.
In the subsequent posts, you will see a map noting its daily progress, and text from journals of the passengers. The image here shows the overall route (deciphered from daily entries from the journals).
“We know of no Mission that has hitherto left this country, which has excited such general interest and prompted so many prayers as that to the Sandwich Islands.”
“It owes its origin to the fact that two lads, natives of Owhyhee, about 9 years since were providentially brought to our shores, by Capt. Brintnall, of New-Haven, and that in that town two young gentlemen faithfully instructed them in the great truths of the Christian religion.”
“One of the lads, Henry Obookiah, early became a convert to Christianity, and gave the most satisfactory evidence of personal piety. He and one of his teachers, the much lamented Mills, who, if he had lived, was to have led the Mission to Owhyhee, have been summoned to a nobler service.”
“The other, Thomas Hopoo, has been a member of the church of Christ about five years. In his whole deportment, the observer discovers evidence of piety, which leaves the mind at rest. His other teacher, Rev. Edwin W. Dwight, of Richmond, the author of the ” Life of Obookiah,” has a right to rejoice in witnessing tire fruit of his labours.”
“He and his friend continued their benevolent exertions towards the two youths from time to time, until they were placed at “The Foreign Mission School” in Cornwall. There Mr. Dwight was their official instructor until a short time before the death of Obookiah.”
“What encouragement is here given to the Christian to obey every impulse of benevolent feeling, and to ‘do good unto all men as he has opportunity.’”
“The individuals connected with the Mission assembled in this town during the last week. They consist of nineteen natives of America; seven gentlemen with their wives, and five children; and four natives of the Sandwich Islands. Their names, places of residence, and occupations, are as follows:
Rev. Hiram Bingham, Bennington, Vt. Missionary.
Rev. Asa Thurston, Fitchburg, Mass. Missionary.
Daniel Chamberlain, Brookfield, Mass. Farmer.
Thomas Holman, Cooperstown, N.Y. Physician.
Samuel Whitney, Branford, Connecticut, Teacher.
Samuel Ruggles, Brookfield, Con. Teacher.
Elisha Loomis, Utica, N. Y. Printer
John Honoree, Owhyhee, Teacher.
Thomas Hopoo, Owhyhee, Teacher.
William Tennooe, Woalioo, Teacher.
George Tamoree, Atooi.”
“Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlain take out with them a family of five children, three sons and two daughters. Most of the gentlemen have learned some one of the mechanic arts.”
“On Friday afternoon of last week, the Missionaries to the number of seventeen, the seven gentlemen and ladies, with Honoree, Hopoo, and Tennooe, were formed into a church of Christ. The religious solemnities on that occasion were performed in the Vestry of Park-street Church, by Rev. Drs. Morse and Worcester, and the Pastor.”
“On the same evening, Rev. Mr. Bingham preached in that church to a very numerous and attentive audience, from 2 Tim. iii. 16, 17. The doctrine derived from the text, and supported in a very ingenious and convincing manner by the preacher, was, ‘It is the great end of the Bible to promote benevolent action.’ After the sermon a Charge was delivered to all the members of the Mission, by Rev. Dr. Worcester.”
“On Saturday morning, at 10 o’clock, the same church was again opened. After a prayer by Mr. Bingham, Rev. Mr. Thurston delivered, to a crowded house, the farewell of the Missionaries to their friends and brethren in this country. When this was concluded, Thomas Hopoo addressed the audience.”
“The address was extemporaneous only because he had had no time to write one. He appeared throughout calm and self-possessed, and did not hesitate, except when owlng to his imperfect utterance of our language. His delivery was manly and impressive. The thoughts were striking and solemn. It was a most affecting spectacle to see a native of Owhyhee preaching the gospel to the citizens of Boston, and calling on them to repent and believe in Jesus Christ.”
“At the close of his address to the audience, Hopoo in a very happy manner begged leave to say a few words to five of his countrymen just arrived from Owhyhee, who were sitting in one of the pews immediately below him. The address was in the language of his country, and occupied 10 or 12 minutes. It was delivered with great freedom and energy.”
“After a prayer by the Rev. Mr. Fisk, (one of the Missionaries to Jerusalem,) the exercises were concluded with the Anthem entitled Melton Mowbray, performed in a superior style. The contributions on Friday evening and Saturday morning amounted to upwards of two hundred dollars.”
“On the Sabbath, at 4 P. M. after the close of Divine service, at the request of the newly constituted Church, the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was administered in Park-street Church.”
“The members of that Church, of the Old South Church, of the Church in Essex street, and many members of other Churches in and out of town, united with their brethren and sisters of the Missionary Church in commemorating the dying love of their common Lord and Saviour, for the last time on this side of the grave.”
“The number of communicants was thought to be between five and six hundred. Rev. Dr. Worcester led in the services, and was assisted by Rev. Messrs. Jenks, Sabine, Bingham and Dwight, and Rev. Professor Porter.”
The occasion was peculiarly interesting and solemn; and will be long remembered with gratitude and joy by those who were present.”
”The Mission Family expected to have embarked in the brig Thaddeus, Capt. Blanchard, on Saturday last; but the arrangements of the vessel not being completed, departure has been delayed to the present time. They expect to sail in the course of this day, (Saturday.)” (Religious Intelligencer, October 30, 1819)