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The New York Times, January 29, 1893, p.2:|
THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.THEIR DISCOVERY, THEIR RULERS,
AND THEIR INDUSTRIES.
The average American has very crude ideas regarding the Hawaiian, or Sandwich, Islands, which formed the constitutional monarchy which has just been overthrown. Striking features of life on the islands have been made somewhat familiar through the writings of travelers and through the great amount of matter printed in the newspapers at the time when King Kalakaua, late lamented, visited this country in search of a loan for his bankrupt treasury, and later when his Queen, Kapiolani, came here on the same errand.
The Hawaiian Islands form a most interesting country, however, in themselves and in their history, especially to Americans; for Americans have led in their development, have for years controlled their wealth, and have had the strongest voice in their government.
That hardy old mariner, Capt. Cook [Captain James Cook], happened to run across the Hawaiian Islands in 1779. He had quite a different object in mind when he made this discovery; but then the early discoverers all seemed to have a weakness for finding something that they never thought of looking for.
Capt. Cook called the islands the Sandwich Islands... At the time of reporting his discovery, Capt. Cook said he thought there were as many as 400,000 natives there.
Hawaii, the main one of the group of twelve islands, is about 2,100 miles west by south of San Francisco. The islands stretch out for a distance of 350 miles in the Pacific, but only eight of them are inhabited. These have a total area of 6,640 square miles, as follows: Hawaii, 4,210 square miles; Maui, 700, Oahu, 600; Kauai, 590; Molokai, 270; Ranai, 150; Nihau [Niihau], 97; Kahoolawe, 63.
Each of the islands used to have its own dusky King and be a little world to itself. About the year 1800, however, there was an old chap struggling under the name of Kamehameha (pronounced as spelled) who, like Alexander the Great, "sighed for more worlds to conquer." He made up his mind that he would conquer all the other worlds he knew about, the other Hawaiian Islands, and this he proceeded to do with neatness and dispatch, and made himself King of them all. Ever since the monarchy has prevailed, though the royal family has been in a very bad way from the time that American enterprise began to assert itself on the islands.
There have been many revolutions, but the reigning family has stood against them, though its power has been taken away from time to time by the granting to the people of such constitutional rights as the revolutionists demanded.
The islands have a very mixed population, owing to the great demand for cheap labor that resulted from the development of the sugar industry. In the aggregate there are less than 100,000 people there, and the major portion of these are on the big island of Hawaii. The increase in the past ten years has been about 15,000, the annual increase being about 1,500. This increase has been very largely due to the excess of the immigration to these shores over the emigration, and not to natural increase, which has been slow because of the small number of the female population as compared with males.
Of the population about 45,000 are natives and half breeds, 20,000 are Japanese, 13,000 are Chinese, 9,000 Portuguese, 4,000 Americans, and there are about 2,200 whites of various nationalities.
The Chinese immigration had to be stopped by law several years ago. The Chinese were found objectionable because of their secret societies, organized to control the labor market; because of their trickery in business matters, and because of the depravity they were spreading among the native women.
Among the Japanese population males outnumber females five to one, and among the Chinese population fifteen to one; but among the native population and the other immigrants the ratio is about normal. The Chinese and the Japanese have never been allowed to vote.
Many people believe that in another generation or two the native stock will become extinct. The natives are called Kanakas, and are a Malay-Polynesian race much like the Maoris of New Zealand, and like them are dying out from the ravages of infectious diseases, and especially from drink, which, since the lamented King Kalakaua removed the tariff on it, has resulted in great pauperism and mortality...
The royal family begins, so far as contemporaneous history is concerned, with the reign of King Kalakaua [David Laʻamea Kamanakapuʻu Mahinulani Nalaiaehuokalani Lumialani Kalākaua, aka The Merrie Monarch], who died in 1891 at the age of fifty-five years. It was he who visited this country, as did his Queen, Kapiolani [Esther Julia Kapiʻolani or Esther Julia Kapiʻolani Napelakapuokakaʻe].
Kalakaua was a good sort of a King in his way, but the Government business was not exactly in his line. The civilization that was brought to his domain was a little too much for him. He was very fond of entertaining the European and American visitors and residents on his islands in kingly style. The result of it was that his royal Treasury became depleted, and during the last years of his reign he was probably the most impecunious King on earth.
His poverty resulted in no small degree from his love for the game called poker, which, it seems needless to say, he learned from Americans. He would sit up and play poker all night. If he won the money of his guests he would invite them to stay at his palace and would kill the fatted calf for them. If he lost, he would give the winners a royal note, provided they were not so influential that he felt he must pay them. In that even he would drain the money out of the pockets of some one of his wealthy and obedient subjects.
Old Kalakaua did not hesitate to resort to tricks to raise funds to have a good time with. One of his victims in this regard was a venerable old Chinaman, who, by sharp methods, had accumulated $60,000 or more. The selling of opium on the islands was illegal. King Kalakaua summoned the old Chinaman, and told him that if he would drop $30,000 into the royal Treasury he could have the sole right to sell opium in the kingdom. The Chinaman brought him the $30,000. Kalakaua's debts had increased in the meantime, however, so he told the Chinaman that it would call for $30,000 more to fix the deal.
The Chinaman brought the other $30,000. Kalakaua put it in his royal pocket and then cooly announced that the laws of the land would not permit the selling of opium, and that his conscience would not allow him to change the laws. He told the Chinaman that he would give him back the $60,000 some day with a rate of interest that would be truly kingly, but the old Chinaman died of a broken heart just the same.
King Kalakaua died of too much fun, and nothing else. His widow is living in Honolulu, and lives on a pension. The Queen who succeeded Kalakaua and who has just been overthrown is his daughter [NYT in error, actually his sister], Lydia Kamakacha Lilluokalani [Lydia Kamakaʻeha Liliuokalani, Lydia Kamakaʻeha Liliʻuokalani, Lydia Kamakaʻeha Paki], more generally referred to as Princess Lydia or Mrs. Dominis. Seated beside her on the throne had been his Royal Highness John O. Dominis, the Prince Consort, an American clerk in a Honolulu shipping house, whom she married thirty years ago and who died a year ago.
The Queen that was is fifty years old and is a good-natured, fat old lady with a dusky skin and a heap of "horse sense." She speaks English fluently and is fairly well-educated. As heir presumptive she got a salary of $5,000 a year, and as Queen her salary was $20,000 a year. She and his Royal Highness Dominis lived in the royal palace at Honolulu, which Kalakaua built. Between them they had an income of about $75,000 a year, and they saved most of it. The Queen who would have succeeded Mrs. Dominis if matters had not been upset as they have been is the Princess Likelike, who is forty-two years old and has been married for twenty-three years to Archibald Scott Cleghorn, a Scotchman.
In 1887 the monarchy was practically overthrown. King Kalakaua had been kicking up such high jinks that the foreigners on the island began to protest. They called upon the King and asked him to sign a Constitution [the Bayonet Constitution]. He said he would not, as it took from him practically all his royal power. The committee that was waiting upon him numbered only thirteen, but it represented much of the wealth of the island. Its members told Kalakaua that they would give him thirty minutes to sign that Constitution, and gently suggested that there was a mass meeting of indignant foreigners out on the corner. Kalakaua signed the Constitution.
Since that time the Americans have practically run the Government. They hold all of the chief executive and judicial offices. In 1889 a half-breed, named Robert W. Wilcox [Robert William Wilcox], who had been educated at public expense in an Italian military school, attempted a revolution with a handful of men, which aimed to do away with the Constitution and restore the royal family to its old power. The white foreigners put down that revolution in three hours, with a loss of three men among the revolutionists.
Under favorable treaties with the United States and development by American money, the production and commerce of the islands have become very extensive. The latest official figures show that capital to the amount of $35,000,000 is invested there in plantations and other productive enterprises. More than $20,000,000 of this is American money, and not one-fifth of the balance is that of natives. The soil is exceedingly fertile and capable of bringing forth a great variety of products; but sugar planting, under the reciprocity treaty with the United States, which admits the product free of duty, is so profitable that other industries have been neglected.
In 1889 the exportation of sugar to the United States amounted to 242,000,000 pounds. The islands got a blow from the McKinley bill in the provision admitting all sugar free of duty. This reduced the profits of the Hawaiian planters, so that many plantations have been ruined, and wages have been reduced by about one-third, while the cost of staple food products there has been high. The crisis was beneficial, however, in that it caused activity in other industries than sugar raising, which could made highly profitable in that country.
The coffee plantations, which had been neglected, received care again, as [did] the rice fields and vineyards and the raising of cattle and sheep. The total exports now are close to $15,000,000 a year, of which sugar is still the greater part.
About $5,000,000 of importing is done, provisions, clothing, machinery, &c., and the United States gets nine-tenths of this trade.
The financial condition of the country for the period of 1890-92, based on the figures of previous periods, would show a revenue of $2,862,505, and expenditures of $2,853,116. In 1890 the public debt amounted to $1,934,000, which was raised in London to pay off prior indebtedness, and pays 6 per cent. interest.
The islands have an educational system that is far in advance of their general condition. A complete system of secular common schools is provided for all. Outside of school hours alone Roman Catholic and other religious teachers have access to the children. English is taught in all the schools.
There are several superior institutions of learning, notably the Oahu College for the sons of Americans; the Kanai Industrial School, a co-educational institution, and the Kamehameha Industrial School for Hawaiian boys and girls. Mrs. Charles R. Bishop, a Hawaiian Princess, who was the wife of Charles R. Bishop, a native of New York, who is now one of the big bankers of Honolulu, left her whole fortune of $500,000 to found this latter school.
There were 178 common schools on the islands in 1890, and about 10,000 pupils.
The New York Times, January 28, 1894, p.21:|
BEAUTIFUL PACIFIC ISLANDSATTRACTIVE FEATURES OF THE POLYNESIAN GROUP.
Honolulu, the Chief City of Hawaii, Its Situation, Inhabitants, Population, and Superb Scenery--
Former Rulers of this Ocean Kingdom--Habits and Customs of the People--The Iolani Palace--
The Bishop Museum and Its Treasures.
It has not been an unusual thing for people to mix up all Polynesia, Micronesia, and Meanesia, but the recent events which have attracted so much attention to this group must have cleared the atmosphere somewhat of these errors, and probably most readers of newspapers have located the islands in their proper place, near the centre of the great Pacific Ocean...
The principal islands are situated between 18 degrees 50 minutes and 22 degrees 20 minutes north latitude and 154 degrees 53 and 100 degrees 15 minutes west longitude. They are about equally distant from all the continental masses, being probably the most isolated group in the world.
They were probably first visited by Juan de Gaetano in 1542 [Juan Gaetano, 1555 more often suggested], as he speaks of "las islas del rey," which he locates at 900 leguas (about 2,000 miles) west of Mexico. This discovery must have found its way into some of the maps of the eighteenth century, or even earlier charts.
In all likelihood their existence was known to Capt. Cook. At any rate, he did not evince any great surprise when he first came across them. On Jan. 18, 1778, however, he rediscovered the group while sailing for our northwest coast in the Resolute and the Discovery.
They were visited in 1786 by Portlock and Dixon, and about the same time by La Perouse. In 1792-3 Vancouver spent considerable time there.
Only eight of the twelve islands are inhabited, the rest being mere rocks, and their area and highest elevations are as follows:
The combined area, therefore, of these islands would be about 6,740 square miles, somewhat less than the 6,900 square miles of the State of New Jersey.
In 1890 the census of the group gave as the total number of inhabitants 92,000. This number has doubtless been very largely increased by the great numbers of contract laborers which have been taken there since that time. The nationalities represented are as follows: Native and mixed, 45,000; Americans, 3,000; Germans, 1,500; Portuguese, 12,000; Chinese, 19,000; Japanese, 8,500; South Seas, 500; other nationalities, 3,500...
Physically, the islands appear to be a double line of volcanoes. This is a feature common to many island series, and it is also noticeable in some volcanic ranges in the continents... Perhaps the oldest of the group are the Islands of Kauai and its companion Niihau, but these two islands have suffered so much by erosion as well as by subterranean catastrophes that it becomes difficult to point out their exact relations to the rest of the group.
Studying the islands one by one, it is found that Hawaii has the ends of these two parallel lines well represented in Kohala and Kea on the one side, and Hualalai and Loa on the other. These two lines have been distinguished by the names of their great terminal cones as the "Loa Range" and the "Kea Range."
The Kea Range may be said to be continued back through Maui and Molokai to the northeast mountain of Oahu, and then possibly to Kauai. The Loa Range through Kahoolawe and Lanai to the southwest to Niihau; though these last points in each line are extremely problematical. The theory of their formation as based on their apparent relative ages is that the line of fracture in the earth's crust, which they undoubtedly mark, has been advancing from the northwest to the southeast, and that as it advanced the craters which were left behind became extinct...
The character of all the islands is given to them by the volcanic forces to whose power they are due. The highest part of the Islands is generally in the interior, with a gradual slope toward the sea. The natives make use of this invariable central position of the mountain mass in speaking of the direction of any given object. Thus "mauka" means on the side toward the mountain, or up hill; and "makai" means toward the sea. These words almost completely do away with compass directions, and the foreign visitor, after he becomes accustomed to the words, uses them from preference. It does seem strange, however, even after some stay upon the islands, to be told that he find something that he is looking for "upon a table on the mauka side of the room."
There are two other words which the stranger learns very quickly. They are "Aloha" and "pilikia." Aloha is the universal greeting. It is expected from everybody, whether acquainted or not, and really means "my love to you." It is remnant of an old, cordial, and good-natured custom of the natives, which one is loth to sea given up. It is pleasant, as you pas along the road on foot or on horseback, to be met with a smile and this cheerful greeting, which is even a little more friendly than the "Buenos dias, Senor" of Spanish countries.
The other word ought to be adopted into the English language; its comprehensiveness would exactly suit the Yankee mind. Of course this very fact makes it rather harder to define, but one might say that anything in the nature of hard luck, or which might lead to difficulty or peril or hardship, is a "pilikia." Your hat goes flying across the street before the tradewind and you chase it with vigor... the partial sympathy which this word intimates is the feeling of at least a few bystanders. You ask a cautious question about a horse you are mounting for the first time, and the stableman instantly seeks to relieve your feelings by saying "No pilikia," meaning that the horse will give you no trouble...
Honolulu, the chief city of the Hawaiian Islands, ang by good right the commercial emporium of the North Pacific, is situated upon the southern shore of the island of Oahu. The average traveler gets all of his impressions of the islands of this group either from a short stay in this place or during a hurried trip to the great volcanoes upon the Island of Hawaii. From one point of view, this is rather unjust to the islands, but from another it might be said that "as goes Honolulu so go the rest of the islands."
The name of the harbor describes it exactly. As translated from the old native tongue, it means "fair haven," and such it is. As your vessel passes in from the long, steady swell of the Pacific, which you have been enjoying for several days previously it is to be supposed, nothing can be more delightful than to pass into the smooth water to the leeward of the island and watch the morning sun light up the glorious circle of hills which form the background of this little bit of tropical fairyland...
One of the first things that the traveler should do is to climb Mount Tantalus. This is a long, easy ridge, back of the city, which will not trouble a good walker, if it is taken easily, as it should be if the views are to be enjoyed. The road to the crater of Punch Bowl is good, and this little extinct tufa cone should be visited on the way up.
Upon the return, just at the point where the main ridge joins the northern side of the Punch Bowl, a footpath will be noticed, which should be followed. As you gradually rise a series of beautiful views will be obtained at the different resting places.
The city itself lies just below you, and looks like a large country village overgrown with splendid tropical trees; for it is almost hidden from view by the gardens which surround nearly every house, and which form one of its peculiar and most interesting charms.
Off to the east lies Waikiki, with its royal parks and the waving palms beyond, on the edge of a silver line of surf which marks one of the finest bathing beaches in the world.
In the valley to the west of the ridge one of the peculiar sights of these islands is to be seen in the taro patches, with their bright, waving leaves.
The principal article of diet among the natives is the "poi," which is prepared from the taro root. The Kanaka, or native, is very fond of this vegetable, and from its nutritious character it has become the staff of live to him. It is really all the natives seem to want, and if you add to this a quantity of dried fish, or squid, they can live in luxury.
The manufacture of this article of food is carried on by the natives very much in the same manner that they have always been accustomed to do it, and merits a word of description. The taro is an edible root, which grows best in an inundated bed. The proper conditions are secured by building a series of terraces, with raised edges, so arranged that the water will pass from one terrace to the next below, always leaving enough water to keep the soil covered to the depth of a few inches. This method of treatment is not absolutely necessary, as there is a form of upland taro which does not need so much water, but the best taro is always raised in this way.
The terrace is worked over several times during the eighteen or twenty months which it takes the root to mature. This process is necessary to keep the mud in which the plant is growing from getting sour. When the root has reached its full growth, it is about the size of a large sweet potato. It is not edible in the raw state, as it will blister the mouth if eaten before it is cooked.
After it is steamed or boiled, it is commonly served on the table as a vegetable, and tastes not unlike a sweet potato. The natives take it while warm and pound it up with a little water into a thick pasty mass, which is done up into packages and wrapped up in "ti" leaves. Among the natives the leaves of this plant take the place of brown wrapping paper. In this shape it is known as "peiai."
It is obtained from dealers in this condition, and, as it keeps well, can be placed in the cupboard until needed. Just before using, it is mixed with water and stirred to the proper consistency, according to the taste of the user. The natives usually let it stand for a few days after this, in order to allow it to ferment partially, as it suits them rather better when it is slightly sour.
It tastes somewhat like sour starch paste, and some people can never get over their aversion to it. But when taken with a little dried, salted, and toasted squid, it is no doubt an "acquired taste," yet a pleasant one...
The native way of eating taro is interesting. In fact, a group of natives arranged picturesquely around a large calabash of "poi" is always a pleasant sight. It is then that the native is himself. Conversation flows freely, and the best of good feeling prevails. They are always ready for it at any hour of the day or night...
After Tantalus, the next excursion should be made early in the morning, as the clouds will interfere with the views later in the day. Leaving the hotel at 6:30 A. M. and driving in the delicious morning air, the traveler will find much to please and entertain him on the road out Nuuanu Valley to the Pali... The botanist will be delighted at every step, and the lover of scenery will be charmed as each turn in the road reveals new vistas, each quite as beautiful as the last.
As the traveler passes to the upper part of the valley and the dark lava walls seem to be drawing closer and closer together, its impressiveness increases...
Suddenly you find yourself fighting the force of the strong trade winds, which blow through the gap with violence at all times. Then, as you round a sharp corner, you find that the road turns quickly to the right and descends by a cut upon the face of the precipice, and then only does the full view of the Kaneohe Valley break upon you in all its beauty... It is believed that all of the valley in sight from this point formed part of an enormous crater, the greater portion of which has split away and subsided.
The Pali, or precipice which extends on either side for several miles, marks the position of the inside walls of this gigantic affair, and the condition of the valley up which you have passed seems to indicate that it was formed by a lava flow which passed out between the walls of a fissure which must have rent the mountain sides some time previous to the great catastrophe which, in all likelihood, ended its activity...
It was here that the victorious Kamehameha I. defeated the hosts of this island and then drove them over the cliffs. This final victory established his supremacy over the whole group, and for the first time in their history they were united under one King.
This occurred in 1795, and from that time on until 1872 the line of Kamehameha controlled the islands. With the death of Kamehameha V., this royal line ceased to exist.
In the City of Honolulu a great deal of time could be spent most profitably... A drive out to Waikiki and a dip in the surf is an experience which is well worth trying. The peculiar feature about the beach, which will surely attract attention, is the softness of the sand. Formerly, when the surf bathers used to frequent this spot and spend hours sporting in the waves, it must have been a beautiful sight; but now a surf-board is a rare sight, and a good surf rider is a still rarer one...
Every one will certainly want to go to the Iolani Palace, formerly the residence of the Kings and Queens, now the State apartments of the provisional Government. The main entrance hall still contains the portraits of the former sovereigns, and the old throne room was retained in very much the same condition as it was before the revolution of last January...
Chief of all the attractions of the City, however, is the Bishop Museum, which is often missed through ignorance of its existence or lack of adequate information as to its contents. It was erected to the memory of Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the wife of C. R. Bishop, the leading banker of Honolulu. It contains the most complete and valuable collection of Polynesian antiquities to be found anywhere in the world. Here are to be found most of the Kamehameha treasures and many choice things obtained by a careful search all over the islands...
One of the things which every visitor should do is to take a drive around a part of the island. Armed with letters of introduction it is easy to have a delightful time; but as there is only one hotel outside of Honolulu, unless you are prepared to camp out it might not be so pleasant...
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