Chapter 2: The Sandwich, or Hawaiian, Islands, May 1895–July 1895

Reid L. Neilson and Riley M. Moffat, eds., Tales from the World Tour: The 1895–1897 Travel Writings of Mormon Historian Andrew Jenson (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2012), 35–87.

Ch​apter 2: The Sandwi​ch, or Hawaiian, Islands: May 1895–July 1895

Since June 1846, when the ship Brooklyn en route from New York to California with a company of about two hundred Saints onboard, touched at Honolulu, the place was figured somewhat prominently in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The two hundred and fifty missionaries who have been sent from the headquarters of the Church to labor on the Hawaiian Islands have all landed at and departed from Honolulu excepting those who have not yet returned. Most of the elders en route for the other islands of the Pacific (the Society Islands excepted) as well as New Zealand, Australia, and India have called at Honolulu on their way out and back.

—Andrew Jenson [1]

The Hawaiian Islands, W.D. Alexander, A Brief History of the Hawaiian People (New York: American Book, 1899), 12

“Jenson’s Travels,” May 31, 1895 [2]

La‘ie, O‘ahu, Hawaiian Islands

(Map of Hawaiian Islands from A Brief History of the Hawaiian People by W. D. Alexander, 1899, p.12)

Thursday, May 30. After attending to some writing and business matters in Honolulu, Brother Edwin C. Dibble hitched up the mule team which Elder Matthew Noall had brought over from La‘ie, and took Brother Noall and family and myself out for a ride. This was the American Decoration Day, which is observed here the same as in the United States. I was surprised to see so many Stars and Stripes floating from business blocks and private residences, but was reminded that nearly everything in the Hawaiian nation is patterned after American institutions, and that the new government is in such close sympathy with the United States that a visitor, were he to judge from the spirit and influence surrounding him, might easily imagine himself on Uncle Sam’s domain. [3]

On my arrival at Honolulu yesterday I was somewhat disappointed at the appearance of the place; but as I traveled up and down its principal streets I liked it better and better. The neat, cozy residence of the more wealthy citizens surrounded by fine tropical orchards, the extensive parks, respectable business blocks, government buildings, well-paved streets, and macadamized roads cannot fail to make a favorable impression upon the stranger. The appearance of Honolulu and vicinity, as viewed from the sea, is deceptive as to size and extent, owing to the dense shrubbery growing along the seashore from Diamond Head on the southeast to the Kamehameha schools on the northwest, a distance of six miles. It is after the visitor lands and begins to observe the leading features of the city and the novelty of everything around him that he is struck with the great change from American or European scenery. A wealth of tropical foliage with its brilliant colors and the dwellings with their broad verandas shaded with vines covered with flowers attract attention wherever one goes. There are also stately royal palms, whose trunks are as smooth and round as if they had been turned on a lathe, and carrying in their tops mammoth pinnated leaves twenty and thirty feet long and of proportionate width. The beautiful algaroba with its graceful leaves, fir palms, pepper and eucalyptus trees, and many other kinds of beautiful shade trees are seen on every hand. The fruit-bearing trees are even more numerous. Most of them have been imported from Mexico, South America, and the East and West Indies. Among them are date and coco palms, cherimoyas and mountain apples, mangoes, bananas and pomegranates, tamarinds and breadfruit, the rose apple (producing a delicious fruit of the taste and fragrance of the rose), the avocado pear (transplanted from South America), and many others. Among the great variety of flowers which pleases the eye are magnificent oleanders, fuchsias, geraniums, and morning glories, which, generally speaking, for size and luxuriance eclipse anything of the kind in the United States.

The present number of inhabitants in Honolulu is about 25,000, made up of about 10,000 natives and half-whites; about 4,500 Chinese; 2,000 Japanese; and the remainder Americans and Europeans. The Chinese occupy one section of the city and the Portuguese another, but the bulk of the population live intermixed. Notwithstanding this mixture of races, there has never been much exhibition of race prejudices or jealousies, as is shown by their free commercial and social intercourse. The English language is predominant and strangers familiar with it will find no difficulty in getting along, either on the streets or in the stores.

All the newspapers published on the Hawaiian Islands are published at Honolulu. There are ten or twelve periodicals published in English; some of these are daily, others weekly and monthly. Four or five papers are published in the Hawaiian and two each in Chinese, Japanese, and Portuguese.

The harbor of Honolulu was discovered by the captain of a trading vessel, November 21, 1794, who named it Fairhaven, and Honolulu, in the Hawaiian language has the same meaning. Though small, it is perfectly safe in all kinds of weather, being completely landlocked. Its entrance is through the coral reef which surrounds the islands and is deep enough to admit the largest ships afloat in the ocean.

Honolulu is the capital of the Hawaiian Islands, and the only town of commercial importance in the group. The business part of the city is situated near the harbor, Fort Street being the principal thoroughfare. The private residences, most of which stand in their own gardens, extend two miles up the historical Nu‘uanu Valley, two miles toward the suburban town of Waikiki and two miles westward.

Since June 1846, when the ship Brooklyn en route from New York to California with a company of about two hundred Saints onboard, touched at Honolulu, the place was figured somewhat prominently in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The two hundred and fifty missionaries who have been sent from the headquarters of the Church to labor on the Hawaiian Islands have all landed at and departed from Honolulu excepting those who have not yet returned. Most of the elders en route for the other islands of the Pacific (the Society Islands excepted) as well as New Zealand, Australia, and India have called at Honolulu on their way out and back. Nearly all the elders who are appointed to labor on the different islands of the Hawaiian group sail from and arrive at Honolulu as they are assigned to their respective fields of labor from time to time. It is also the common post office address for all our missionaries laboring on the Hawaiian Islands. On the arrival of mails from America, all letters and papers addressed to the missionaries find their way to Box 410, Honolulu, where the president of Honolulu Branch receives them and redirects all mail matter to those of the elders who are laboring outside of Honolulu, he always being posted in regard to their whereabouts. This is done right at the post office without being obliged to pay extra local postage. There has been a branch of the Church in Honolulu since 1853, and at the present time it is the largest branch in the mission, containing as it does about 560 members. Elder Edwin C. Dibble is president. The branch has a fine meetinghouse erected in 1888 under the superintendency of Elder Matthew Noall. The main building is a frame structure, 30x50 feet with a well-proportioned tower on the east end. It stands on Punchbowl Street, about a mile from the harbor. Adjoining it is the missionary’s cottage, with four rooms on the main floor, which has been the temporary home of many an elder in past years, and may do service as such for many years to come.

Honolulu Branch chapel, also known as the "one-eyed church." Courtesy of Brigham Young University- Hawaii.

In our drive today we visited the beautiful suburban town Waikiki, where we called on an old faithful member of the Church called Holika. She is the president of the Relief Society in Waikiki, and during her long experience in the Church she has made the acquaintance of many of the elders from Zion who have labored as missionaries on these islands. She mentioned a number of them, but seemed particularly interested in President Joseph F. Smith, who was among those who have visited in her home. She lives in a native hut with thatched roof, but owns a comfortable lumber dwelling standing nearby, the interior of which she keeps very tidy and clean; the walls are covered with photographs of elders and other Saints. We also visited the Kapiolani Park, lying on the seashore and extending out to the Diamond Point; and returning we drove to the top of Punchbowl Crater, from which a fine view is obtained of Honolulu and harbors, also of the country bordering on the noted Pearl Harbor westward, as well as toward the interior of the island.

The Saints in Honolulu are generally poor, and since the overthrow of the monarchy a great number of them, refusing to take the oath of allegiance to the new government, have been thrown out of employment. Nearly all the natives seem to be opposed in their hearts to the dethronement of the queen, and look upon the whole affair as a treacherous scheme concocted by the “missionaries” and other white adventurers, who have grown rich on the expense of the Hawaiian people in many instances. They look hopefully to the United States government for justice and think that their queen will shortly be restored to the throne and the present temporary government be forced to vacate in her favor. Though everything is quiet and peace reigns supreme at present, it is evident that the troubles are not yet over, nor is the dissatisfaction by any means confined to the natives, but many influential people among the whites—those particularly who failed to become officeholders under the new government—are not in sympathy with the present administration.

Our brethren here are taking no part whatever in political affairs, but they have in many instances suffered under the suspicion that they were in sympathy with the other white people, who pretend great friendship for the natives, but who in reality are their secret enemies. On this account whole branches of the Church have actually withered away or died spiritually; and the elders laboring on the respective islands have had experiences in this connection different to anything had by their predecessors in the ministry. There are numerous instances where natives have resurrected their belief in their ancient gods, at least in part thinking that by this means they may obtain their rights and have their own government reestablished. An effort is being made, so I am told, on the part of the present government and its friends to convince the world that the Hawaiian people are in full accordance with the new government and that the opposition is confined to a few “soreheads” only; but I am fully convinced through information which I have already obtained from the most reliable sources that this is a mistake. The natives generally speaking are opposed to the change of government, and though many of them were not in close sympathy with the queen prior to her dethronement, they condemned in the strongest terms the usurpation, which they think was practiced in connection with the overthrow of the monarchy.

Friday, May 31. I paid a visit to the government buildings in Honolulu, when I had a pleasant interview with Honorable Sanford B. Dole, the president of the Hawaiian Republic. He is a tall, stately gentleman of military bearing and pleasant address. He wears an extra long beard, which has given occasion to numerous jokes on the part of his political opponents. In my interview with him, he declared himself a friend of the Mormons, and having visited the La‘ie Plantation on several occasions, he knew our people to be of a practical and industrious disposition, and wished us success. He only objected to one thing, he said, in connection with our practices, and that was our inducing the natives to emigrate to Utah, and then after their arrival there neglect to care for them, and thereby put the Hawaiian government to the expense of paying their transportation back. I assured him that if any of the natives had been persuaded to go to Utah against their will I was not aware of it; and so far as neglecting them after their arrival, I know this to be a fact that no other class of emigrants had been cared for by the Saints like the Hawaiian people. In the first place the Church has bought a large tract of land on the island of O‘ahu at an original cost of something like $14,000, and this land had for thirty years been worked as a plantation and stock ranch by missionary labors in the interest of the Hawaiian people; and a few years ago also a ranch was bought by the Church in Utah for the special benefit of those natives who had emigrated to the headquarters of the Church, and had ever since been conducted in their interest, under the direction of competent men who had labored as missionaries on the islands and knew how to care for the Hawaiians. [4] If, after all this special care and outlay of means in their behalf, some of them get dissatisfied and wanted to return to their native islands, it must be for other causes. It certainly was not on account of any neglect on the part of the Church or its representatives to care for them. The president seemed pleased with my explanation and expressed a desire to converse with our presiding elder on the islands, as I suggested he could obtain from him full particulars on our missionary operations here better than from me who had just arrived.

At 1:30 p.m. I left Honolulu with a mule team, in company with President Matthew Noall, his wife and three children, bound for La‘ie, thirty-two miles distant. The ride up the beautiful Nu‘uanu Valley was very interesting, and after traveling six miles from Honolulu, we found ourselves on the top of the so-called pali, which is a precipice 1,200 feet high with mountains on either side reaching a height of over 3,000 feet. The view from the top of the pali looking northward is grand beyond description. The ocean can be seen also in looking southward. The road leading down the pali is cut out in the face of the solid mountain most of the way and is very steep. In less than half a mile the traveler drops down over a thousand feet. Both wheels of our vehicle were tied in making the descent and all hands walked down including the mules. Having reached the foot of the mountain the journey was continued in a northwesterly direction along the coast, passing through a number of native villages and one sugar plantation. In three of these villages, namely, Kaneohe, Ka‘alaea, and Kahana, there are branches of the Church. After a romantic ride, part of the way traveling on the sands of the seashore, we arrived at La‘ie about midnight.

In my travels today, and ride in and around Honolulu yesterday, my attention was continually drawn to new features. Never before having visited a country within the limits of the tropics, I had the pleasure for the first time in my life to see sugarcane fields, rice fields, kalo patches, coconut groves, banana groves, palm trees, breadfruit trees, mango trees, etc., etc., not to mention tropical jungles, and the many varieties of shrubbery, flowers, and grasses which are not met with in a colder climate. But perhaps the most interesting and striking feature of all is the peculiar volcanic formation of the country itself. The almost-perpendicular mountains terminate in ridges so sharp and narrow that it would seemingly be impossible for any one to walk along them even in single file, were it possible to climb to the top. The mountains cover most of the island, the fertile land suitable for cultivation being very limited.

“Jenson’s Travels,” June 3, 1895 [5]

La‘ie, O‘ahu, Hawaiian Islands

Saturday, June 1. In the morning I was introduced to the missionary brethren and sisters at La‘ie. [6] There were twelve of them besides eleven children, twenty-three souls all told. Their names and positions are as follows: Elder Matthew Noall, (Photo of Noall family) of the 22nd Ward, Salt Lake City, president of the Hawaiian Mission and manager of the La‘ie Plantation; Sister Elizabeth D. Noall, wife of Matthew Noall, mission president of the Relief Societies on the Hawaiian Islands and director of the domestic work of the women’s department of La‘ie; Elder John Brown, general assistant, and Sister Elizabeth S. Brown, wife of John Brown, assistant in domestic duties; Elder Walter Scholes of the First Ward, Salt Lake City, foreman at the plantation, and Sister Phoebe L. A. Scholes, his wife, assistant in domestic duties; Melvin M. Harmon of St. George, Utah, schoolteacher and president of the La‘ie Branch; Sister Alice C. W. Harmon, wife of Melvin M. Harmon, storekeeper; Elder George H. Fisher of Oxford, Idaho, clerk of the mission and president of the O‘ahu Conference; Sister Laura L. Fisher, wife of George H. Fisher, assistant schoolteacher; Elder George H. Birdno of Thatcher, Arizona, traveling elder in the O‘ahu Conference and blacksmith at La‘ie; Sister Ellen C. Birdno, wife of George H. Birdno, assistant in domestic duties. The missionary children’s names are as follows: Vera E. Noall, 9 years old; Nora R. Noall, 7 years; Matthew F. Noall, 5 years; and George L. Noall, 1 year, all children of Matthew and Elizabeth D. Noall; William Wallace, 15 years; Matilda, 12 years; and Jane, 7 years, children of John and Elizabeth S. Brown. Walter A Scholes, two months old, the youngest child at the missionary home, son of Walter and Phoebe L. A. Scholes (he is the last child born at Lanihuli, which is the name given to that particular spot of La‘ie where the mission home is situated). Irvin W. Harmon, 2 years, son of Melvin M. and Alice C. W. Harmon (he was also born on the plantation); Henrietta Johnson, 5 years, daughter of George H. and Laura L. Fisher; Jessie E. Birdno, 2 years, daughter of George H. and Ellen C. Birdno. Young William Wallace is assisting with the cows; the other children who are old enough attend school. Sister Birdno is a daughter of Benjamin Cluff, who labored as a missionary on these islands from 1864 to 1870, having his family with him. While here, two children were born to him, one being Ellen, now the wife of George H. Birdno. She was born on the La‘ie Plantation in a house still standing December 2, 1869. With the exception of Brother Brown, all our missionaries at La‘ie, and in fact all in the mission at the present time, are young people, who are passing through the experiences of their first mission.

Matthew and Elizabeth Noall family. Courtesy of Brigham Young University-Hawaii. 

They are doing well and seem to have the spirit of their calling upon them, most of them also getting along nicely in acquiring the language. Peace and union seem to prevail at the missionary home, and everyone has duties to perform. Prayers are held in the parlor, which is designated as the prayer room, morning and evening. The time for prayers and meals is always announced by the ringing of a bell. All the missionaries take turn in praying, and most of them in doing so use the Hawaiian language. Before the evening prayer a short catechism on the Book of Mormon is had, conducted by the president of the mission. A chapter having previously been selected which the missionaries are supposed to read and study before prayer time, in order to be prepared to answer such questions as may be put to them. Regular missionary meetings are held on Wednesday evenings at which the principles of the gospel, Church history, and other subjects are studied; and testimony meetings are held every Sunday evening. The first Sunday, as well as the first Thursday of each month, is observed as fast day at the missionary home. Elder Noall himself being a hard worker, his example is generally followed by the other missionaries; hence everybody seems quite busy in discharging the different duties assigned them all day long. But at meal hours some little time is spent in profitable conversation, and a few good-natured jokes occasionally pass around in order to dispel the monotony which otherwise might be felt. Considering the inexperience of most of the inmates of Lanihuli, and the different dispositions and temperaments of the several brethren and sisters there, whose lives are thrown so close together, I have nothing but praise for them; they are doing well and are endeavoring to represent the cause of truth in a worthy and consistent manner, and as they get older it is to be hoped they will still become wiser and better and that all of them may throughout all time to come have occasion to look back with great pleasure and satisfaction upon their first mission. When I speak of a first mission, I of course do not include Brother and Sister Noall, who performed a long and very successful mission to these islands from 1885 to 1889 and who arrived here on this their second mission December 18, 1891. They have both acquired the Hawaiian language to a wonderful degree of perfection, and Sister Noall, on account of her proficiency in the language, is sometimes called “the white Hawaiian” by the natives, who are very fond of her and would like her to stay with them forever. No other missionary sister, so far as it is known, has ever learned the Hawaiian language like she has, but it is to be hoped that others will follow her example, and that hereafter our missionary sisters as well as the elders will put forth their best efforts in trying to acquire the language, without which they are necessarily incapable of doing much good among the natives.

Sunday, June 2. This is my first Sunday in the Hawaiian nation. I attended the Sunday School in the La‘ie meetinghouse from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m., their general meeting from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., after which general testimony meeting in the afternoon and missionary meeting at Lanibuli in the evening. By the assistance of President Noall I addressed the Sunday School and the general meeting at some length. After the meeting the natives crowded around to shake hands with the malahini (“stranger”), and I was greeted with many warm-hearted “aloha nui” (“much love”), to which I soon learned to respond in their tongue. The open, frank countenances and the honest expressions of the eyes which looked into mine when they greeted me made a deep impression upon me, and at once made me feel tenderhearted towards a race which was once highly favored of the Almighty, but who became dark skinned and degraded through sin. May the promises made concerning the remnant of the house of Israel speedily be fulfilled upon this branch thereof! In the afternoon I listened to the natives bearing testimony of the truths they had heard in the forenoon. The speakers were Lalelale, who during his discourse grew quite warm and eloquent; Hiapo‘ole, a home missionary known locally as the native orator; and Moki Nakua‘au, the La‘ie Sunday School superintendent and one of the most intelligent natives on the islands; and the latter’s wife, Kekuewa, quite a refined sister, was the fourth and last speaker. In the evening I addressed the missionaries on the importance of keeping public and private records.

After a preliminary perusal of statistical reports and other documents yesterday, I learn that the Hawaiian Mission embraces all the Hawaiian Islands, and that according to the statistical report of December 31, 1894, it comprises five regularly organized conferences of the Church and two large branches (La‘ie and Honolulu) reporting direct to the president of the mission. The five conferences contain seventy-nine branches, which, together with the two already mentioned, make a total of eighty-one organized branches of the Church in the Hawaiian Mission at the present time. The total membership at the beginning of the present year was 4,048, of which 420 were elders, 144 priests, 142 teachers, 122 deacons, and 3,220 lay members (1,297 males and 1,923 females). Adding 851 children under eight years of age belonging to families in the Church, we have 4,899 as a total number of souls divided into 1,473 families. This represents fully one-eighth of the whole native population of the Hawaiian Islands, as the official census of 1890 showed only 34,436 natives and 6,186 half-castes in the whole kingdom, or 40,622 altogether. In 41 of the 81 branches of the Church in the Hawaiian Islands, there are meetinghouses of which two (those of La‘ie and Honolulu) are fine and commodious structures, and the rest are small lumber or frame houses excepting one or two which are mere native huts with thatched roofs, but they were also built and are now used for houses of worship. There are 40 Sunday Schools in the mission, 39 Relief Societies, and 26 Mutual Improvement Associations for both sexes. At the present time there are 16 elders and six missionary sisters from Zion laboring in the mission. Of these all the sisters and four of the brethren spend most of their time on the La‘ie Plantation. The remaining elders are distributed upon the different islands of the group as follows: Two are laboring as missionaries on the island of Kaua‘i; two on the island of O‘ahu outside of Honolulu and La‘ie; one at Honolulu; three on the islands at Maui, Moloka‘i, and Lana‘i; and four on Hawai‘i. The elders in the missionary field are visiting from branch to branch, generally remaining a week at a time in each branch and spending their time holding meetings with Saints and strangers, visiting from house to house, and studying the language. Their fields of labor are generally changed every six months, or at the general conferences of the mission, which almost from the infant days of the mission have been held in April and October of each year. At those general conferences, which for many years have been held at La‘ie on the island of O‘ahu, all-important business pertaining to the mission is attended to and a good and enjoyable time is almost invariably had by both elders and natives. The conferences are continued for several days, and are generally held on the same dates as the general conferences of the Church in Zion. Those occasions are also made times of general reunions for the missionaries, who as a rule have been separated for five or six months at a time, and occasionally a concert or two is given in addition to the numerous meetings held.

The experience of the elders in these islands is in many ways different to that obtained by our missionaries in any other country where the gospel is being preached by the Latter-day Saint elders at the present time.

The first great difficulty which confronts an elder on his arrival here is the language. There is a similarity between all so-called civilized languages; at least an English-speaking person will find many words that he is acquainted with in his study of the German, French, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Italian, and many other tongues, the English being a compound of all their languages, and a number of others not mentioned. Hence any of our elders possessing ordinary intelligence and some grammatical knowledge who may be sent to any of the countries of Europe where the languages referred to are spoken would soon “catch on” to many words familiar to him, and this would enable him to feel somewhat at home at once and quickly add to his stock of words. But it is not so with the Hawaiian language. To learn that means the breaking of new ground entirely. Hardly a sound, or even a grunt, seems familiar; at first everything is new and strange, excepting the natural expressions of the face exhibiting joy or sorrow; or to be more plain, the weeping and laughing of the Hawaiian people seems to be done on the same principle and requires about the same effort as that of other mortals. But many of our elders are doing and have always done very well in acquiring the peculiar language spoken here, though it necessarily takes time. No other class of people who have frequented these islands, or who have even become permanent residents here, have made such a record for learning the language as have our elders. This can be accounted for in several ways. First and foremost our elders, if in the line of their duty, have the Spirit of God to quicken their understanding, brighten their intellect, and improve their memory. Then they are, as a rule, men of great determination and willpower; and as their hopes for reward are based upon the sure promises of the Savior, and not upon the uncertain and perishable things of this world, they are willing to work harder, and consequently make better progress, than those who continually stop to consider whether “it will pay or not.” In my own experience as an elder, I have often done things in the interest of the Church of Christ which money could not have hired me to do; and on the same principle our elders as a rule will exert themselves more when they are working for that great boon salvation, which the children of the world call “working for nothing,” than they would if they were being paid for their labors in cold coin or its equivalent.

But while the language is a great detriment to the elder for the first year or so after his arrival, he has advantages which no other mission possesses. At La‘ie, the Church plantation, he has a temporary home—a pleasant home—where he at least once in a while can associate freely with his friends, while he himself is being made comfortable so far as food and shelter is concerned. No other country visited by our elders has missionary headquarters like those at La‘ie. Besides this the Hawaiian people are a very warm-hearted and hospitable people. They make the stranger, and especially those whom they recognize as their friends, welcome to the best they have. And though their bill of fare and sleeping accommodations are not always up to the standard that an American could desire, he is made to feel at home, and as soon as he learns to “eat poi and raw fish” he need not as a rule go hungry while traveling among the natives of these islands.

A geography of the Hawaiian Islands used in the public schools contains the following:

“The Hawaiian Islands are in the North Pacific Ocean. They lie between longitude 154˚40΄ and 160˚30΄ W, and latitude 22˚16΄ and 18˚55΄ N. There are eight islands inhabited, namely, Ni‘ihau, Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, Kaho‘olawe, Maui, and Hawai‘i. Three small islands are not inhabited, namely, Lenua, north of Ni‘ihau; Ka‘ula, southwest of Ni‘ihau; and Molokini, between Kaho‘olawe and Maui.

“The Hawaiian Islands form a continuous chain, running from northwest to southeast. The islands are volcanic formation and contain many extinct craters, while on the island of Hawai‘i are two craters which are active. The soil is fertile in some places, but a large area is unfit for cultivation.

“There are no large rivers, but almost every valley has its rivulet. Showers are frequent on the windward side of the islands.

“The climate is mild and much cooler than places in a similar latitude on any of the large continents. The northeast trade winds blow for about eight months of the year. Southerly winds prevail during the months of November, December, January, and February. These frequently blow very strongly and are then called Kona storms. Thunderstorms are of very rare occurrence and are seldom severe.

“The population of the islands is to be found chiefly along the shores, on a strip of land varying from one to four miles in width. The interior, except in the case of a few deep and fertile valleys, is very sparsely inhabited. The population in 1890 numbered 89,990 people, of which 34,436 are Hawaiians; 6,186 part-Hawaiian (half-caste); 1,928 Americans; 1,344 British; 1,034 German; 8,602 Portuguese; 15,301 Chinese; and the remainder other foreigners.

“The principal industry is the cultivation of sugarcane and the manufacture of sugar. Next in importance is the cultivation of rice. The raising of cattle stands third in the list of industries. Coffee is also raised and bananas as well as other tropical fruits are grown in considerable quantities.

“The Hawaiian Islands extend from northwest to southwest [sic] for a distance of about four hundred miles; hence, it requires considerable interisland travel for our missionaries while performing their duties as elders in this part of the world. But there are regular steamship connections between all the principal islands. The fare however, is very high for first-class accommodations, but only $2 for an adult passenger from island to island for deck passage.” [7]

“Jenson’s Travels,” June 4, 1895 [8]

Lanihuli, La‘ie, O‘ahu, Hawaiian Islands

Monday, June 3. The brethren at the mission house at La‘ie saddled up their horses, which Elders Matthew Noall, Walter Scholes, and myself mounted, and took a long ride over the plantation and along the seacoast. By this means I became acquainted with topographical and industrial features of La‘ie, which property consists of nearly 6,000 acres of land. This was purchased early in 1865 with a view to making it a gathering place for the Hawaiian Saints. It will be remembered that the natives at that time were forbidden by law to emigrate to other countries; and thus being prevented from gathering to Utah like converts from other parts of the world, it was thought best to provide a local gathering place. The property cost $14,000. La‘ie has a coastline of about three and a half miles; the La‘ie landing where steamers occasionally call to take on and unload freight is about a mile and a quarter from Lanihuli, the missionary home. The purchase extends inland for a distance of about four miles, or to the top of the mountains which form the boundary line between the districts of Ko‘olauloa (in which La‘ie is situated) and Waialua. Of the 6,000 acres only about five hundred acres can be classed as level and fertile lands; another five hundred acres is grazing land, consisting mostly of low hills and rolling country; then there is about 2,500 acres of timber or forest mountain land, and nearly the same amount of mountain grazing country. Of the 500 acres tillable land, 160 acres are planted this year with sugarcane; 150 acres are rented to Chinamen for rice fields; 18 acres are planted in kalo, and ten acres in potatoes; and 75 acres are covered by so-called kuleanas (“small lots”) which were owned by natives at the time the purchase was made in 1865. The town site of La‘ie covers about one hundred acres. The mission home called Lanihuli stands on elevated grounds about a quarter of a mile from the center of the village of La‘ie and about the same distance inland from the seashore (nearest point). The premises consists of the new and commodious cottage of modern architecture, one of the finest upon the island of O‘ahu outside of Honolulu—built under the direction of Elder Matthew Noall in 1893. (Photo of Lanihuli mission home) It is a two-story frame building containing nine rooms in the lower story besides hall closets, bathroom, etc., and seven upper rooms, mostly used as sleeping apartments. About 160 feet to the southeast stands the old mission house, which was there in 1865 when the purchase was made; it is now used as a schoolhouse, in which Elder Harmon and Sister Fisher are teaching the English government school. Adjacent to this building is another small cottage occupied by Elders Brown and Birdno and their families, and near the new mission house is a smaller two-room cottage occupied by Brother Fisher and family. Elders Noall, Harmon, and Scholes live with their respective families in the new mission house. During my temporary stay at La‘ie, I will occupy an upper room with a window facing the east from which I have a beautiful view of the coast, the reef, the breakers out in the ocean, also the valley of La‘ie and the steamboat landing beyond. Only a portion of the native population reside in the village; the remainder live on lots and parcels of land at different points of the plantation, some of them as far as two miles away.

Lanihuli mission home in La'ie. Coutesy of Church History library, Salt Lake City. 

Nearly a quarter of a mile from the mission house stands the beautiful La‘ie meetinghouse built in 1882–83 at an expense of nearly $8,000. (Photo of I Hemolele chapel) It occupies an elevated piece of ground and can be seen to advantage a long distance off. It is known among nonmembers of the Church as the Mormon Temple—a distinction which it perhaps duly deserves, it being the finest house of worship on the island of O‘ahu outside of Honolulu. About sixty yards away to the northwest is the old meetinghouse erected in 1866 soon after the purchase was made; it was used for all public gatherings prior to the erection of the new meetinghouse. Between the meetinghouses and the mission home on one side and the village of La‘ie on the other, lies an open piece of prairie land covered with a beautiful carpet of fine grass called maniania, which served as playground for the children and occasionally for the grown-up natives. This extensive natural lawn is the means of keeping everything clean and pleasant around the mission house as there is no dust flying through the air, though the wind blows at La‘ie almost without cessation. Yes, at La‘ie wind has often been commented upon. It prevents trees and flowers from growing, and the missionary sisters from wearing bangs. Many attempts have been made in former years to raise fruit and shade trees on the La‘ie property; but every trial in that direction has proven a failure so far except in places where they are protected from the wind either by hills or buildings, and then they only grow as high as they are protected. A few trees planted on the shielded side of buildings at La‘ie are proof of this assertion. But while the wind prevents trees from growing on exposed grounds, it is a harbinger of health and vigor to the inhabitants. The air around La‘ie is always good and pure, as it is constantly blown in from the mighty ocean. To inhale it freely means life and renewed strength of mind and body. While the air at times is awfully hot and oppressive at Honolulu, and at many places on the eastward side of the islands, it is always good and pure at La‘ie; the missionaries who, when visiting the capital, are perspiring and feel uncomfortable under the oppressive heat, are always sure to obtain immediate relief when they return to mission headquarters. The town site of La‘ie is laid off like most of our town sites in Utah into regular blocks, the streets crossing each other at right angles, but the natives have not built their houses in conformity to the streets; they seem to face every way as if each builder has sought to make his house face different to that of all his neighbors. Most of the houses rest upon stilts. In their erection the upright timbers have been left long enough to raise the floor several feet from the ground. In countries where unhealthy vapors constantly arise from the ground, such a mode in building would certainly be a great improvement on the present style of architecture. Another peculiar feature in connection with the dwellings on the Hawaiian Islands is the absence of chimneys. In a country where it is perpetual summer there is no need for that particular commodity which is so very essential in a more northern clime.

Hemolele chapel in La'ie. Courtesy of Brigham Young University-Hawaii.

There are no continuous living streams on the La‘ie property, though in times of rain there are a number of riverlets and creeks which find their way from the mountains to the ocean, such water being utilized as much as possible for irrigation purposes. But the surface water thus obtained being inadequate, five artesian wells have been sunk on the property, namely three by the plantation company and two by the Chinese, who have rented lands for raising rice. The largest of the plantation wells which is about 300 feet deep, gives forth water at the rate of 469 gallons per minute, through a 7 5/8-inch pipe. Preparations are being made now to sink another well with at least double that capacity. It will cost about $3,000. One of the wells sunk by the Chinamen gives forth a stream large enough to run their rice mill. From that well also, the mission house obtains its water supply for culinary purposes. After the missionaries had carried the water used at the house up a hill for a distance of nearly 1,000 feet during 28 years, Elder Noall got permission from the Chinamen to tap the well, or attach a small pipe, through which the water is conveyed a distance of about 600 feet into a tank built at the base of a perpendicular cliff, on the top of which a windmill was built to pump the water up twenty-five feet into an upper tank, from which another line of pipe conducts it into the missionary home 390 feet further on. This very desirable improvement was made in 1892, Elder Noall personally doing all the plumbing, first introducing the water into the old mission house and later into the new building when that was completed. The pipes introduce both hot and cold water into the bathroom, kitchen, and washhouse.

Considerable stock is kept on the La‘ie Plantation, and of late years the kinds have been greatly improved. There is good grazing during the winter season; but the species of grass growing on the Hawaiian Islands seems to contain so few nutritious properties that cattle and horses who feed in grass knee deep keep poor, the consequence is that even milk is a scarce article on the plantation where they milk sixteen cows. But from all these less than a gallon of milk a day is obtained. I am informed that one good cow properly fed in Utah will give as much or more milk than ten cows on the Hawaiian Islands. Horses and mules on the islands are also poor, except such as are fed on grain and hay imported from California.

To prevent the La‘ie Plantation cattle from straying off onto other people’s property a wire fence three miles long was built recently on the north line of La‘ie, or between that and the Kahuku ranch extending from the sea to the mountains. Four miles more of fence, also built recently, divide the grazing part of La‘ie into four paddocks, or separate pasture enclosures. Material is also on hand for a fence to be built on the other side—on the line between La‘ie and the Kaipapa‘u lands. The sea on the northeast and the mountains on the southwest serve as the best possible fence in those directions.

Cane growing and sugar manufacturing was once a very profitable industry on the Hawaiian Islands, and for years almost every other industry was neglected in its favor, but now the competition in the sugar line is so great that the industry does not pay, unless the cheapest kind of Japanese and Chinese laborers are employed and the best and most modern machinery used in making the sugar, and the article turned out on a large scale. Much of the lands at La‘ie which has been used for raising cane during the past thirty years is now run down to such an extent that it cannot produce good crops any longer; hence some of the lower lands have been discarded, and about sixty acres of new and higher lands taken up, which depend almost exclusively upon mountain streams fed by rainwater to mature the crops. In order to save and utilize the water, quite an extensive reservoir was built in the Wailele Gulch in 1893. A sixteen-foot aeromotor, with a capacity of 10,000 gallons per minute, has also been imported and built for the purpose of raising water from one of the artesian wells onto higher grounds. During the busiest season from fifty to eighty natives are employed on the plantation; their labors are directed by the manager and his assistant or assistants.

Both men and women are employed, and I am specially requested by one of the missionary sisters to record the facts as a point in favor of woman’s rights that the women are among the most faithful laborers and excel many of the men in doing the same kind of work. As an exception to the general rule, but as a true reward of merit, the manager of the plantation has paid for actual work done, and thus the women who work faithfully got higher wages than some of the men.

The old cane mill erected in the days of Harvey H. Cluff has stood idle for about six years. It, together with the blacksmith shop, stands about half a mile south of the mission house.

Our ride along the coast was very interesting to me. A small peninsula extends quite a distance out into the ocean from the grounds on which the village of La‘ie is situated; and there are three small rock islets a short distance out from the shore.

“Jenson’s Travels,” June 9, 1895 [9]

Kahana, Ko‘olaluloa, O‘ahu, Hawaiian Islands

Tuesday, June 4. I commenced my regular historical labors at my temporary home at La‘ie by perusing the mission records and examining old documents on file. It reveals the fact that there are no very early records of the Hawaiian Mission on hand at headquarters. If records of any kind were ever kept from 1850 to 1874, then present whereabouts are not known to anyone here. The earliest genealogical record—that is, a record of baptisms, confirmations, blessings, etc.—dates back only to 1874. There are scraps of history as far back as 1879, but the regular mission record containing minutes of general conferences and statistical matters commences in 1882. Statistical reports are on file since 1886.

Wednesday, June 5. By a thorough perusal of different documents and records I got an insight into the present status of the Hawaiian Islands and mission.

Thursday, June 6. This day was observed as a fast day at La‘ie, and a meeting of the missionaries was held at 11:00 a.m. at Lanihuli. In the afternoon the officers of the Relief Society met in the prayer room and had a splendid little meeting.

Friday, June 7. Elder George H. Fisher, president of the O‘ahu Conference, assisted me in my historical labors. The O‘ahu Conference embraces all the Saints residing on the island of O‘ahu outside of La‘ie and Honolulu. O‘ahu is the most important island of the Hawaiian group though not the largest. It has an area of 600 square miles. Its extreme length from Makapu‘u Point on the southeast to the Kahuku Point on the northwest is forty-six miles; its average breadth is twenty-five miles, and its population was 31,194 in 1890. In agricultural importance O‘ahu stands fourth as compared with the other islands. There are two mountain ranges on the island of which the eastern (the Ko‘olau Range) is the longest and contains a number of deep valleys, one of which, Nu‘uanu, intersects the range giving access from one side of the island to the other. The fertile lands lie in the valleys and along the lower spurs of the mountains and extend almost to the sea. There is very little woodland except high up in the valleys and on the mountains. Honolulu is on the south side of the island; La‘ie on the northeast or opposite side. The two places are thirty-two miles apart. There are 1,438 Saints on O‘ahu, including children, namely, 677 in the Honolulu Branch, 364 in the La‘ie Branch, and 397 in the O‘ahu Conference, which comprises ten branches, namely, Kahana with 154 Saints, [10] including children; Ka‘alaea, 27; Kailua, 32; Waimanalo, 21; Kalaekao, 23; Halawa, 17; Waikele, 25; Kawaihapai, 20; and Waialua, 43.

Branches on O'ahu described by Andrew Jenson during his tour of 1895.

The Kahana Branch embraces the Saints residing in the village of Kahana, which is situated in a beautiful little valley extending inland from the Kahana Bay. The place is eight miles southeast of La‘ie. The branch has a lumber meetinghouse, 38x20 feet, built in 1878; it also has a Sunday School, Relief Society, and Mutual Improvement Association for both sexes. J. Paulo is president of the branch.

The Ka‘alaea Branch comprises the Saints living in a scattered condition along the shores of Ko‘olau Bay, in the district of Ko‘olaupoko, and on the northeast shore of O‘ahu. The branch has a lumber meetinghouse (dedicated by Elder Matthew Noall on September 24, 1893), which has a central location on elevated ground near the seashore and is about sixteen miles southeast on La‘ie or nearly midway between that place and Honolulu. Nakapuahi presides over the branch.

The Kane‘ohe Branch consists of the Saints residing in the settlement of that name, situated in the district of Ko‘olaupoko, on the northeast coast of O‘ahu, almost twenty-two miles southeast of La‘ie and ten miles north of Honolulu.

The Kailua Branch embraces the Saints residing in a native settlement of that name, situated about five miles southeast of Kaneohe, or about eleven miles by road northeast of Honolulu, in the district of Ko‘olaupoko. Holi is president of the branch.

The Waimanalo Branch consists of Saints residing in and near the sugar plantation of that name in the district of Ko‘olaupoko, near the southeastern extremity of the island of O‘ahu, fifteen miles by wagon road northeast of Honolulu and about thirty miles southeast of La‘ie. The Saints own a lumber meeting house which is situated near the foothills several miles inland and in the outskirts of the town. There is also a Sunday School, Relief Society, and Mutual Improvement Association. Wai‘ale‘ale presides over the branch.

The Kalaekao Branch consists of the Saints residing on the dry, sandy, and sultry beach near the Pearl Locks, about eight miles of roundabout road northwest of Honolulu. Maukeale is president.

Halawa Branch embraces the Saints residing in a little village or creek bed near the main road about eight miles northwest of Honolulu, near Pearl Harbor, in the districts of ‘Ewa and Wai‘anae. Some of the members are addicted to the habit of drinking awa and others are affected with leprosy. Kameka, the former president of the branch, was taken to Moloka‘i as a leper in March 1895, since which time the branch has had no presiding officer.

The Waikele Branch consists of the Saints residing in a scattered condition on the south side of O‘ahu in a district of country extending from Halawa westward for a distance of twelve miles. It includes Kualakai and Honouliuli and a number of very small hamlets situated on the numerous small streams which put into Pearl Harbor from the mountains on the north. It is an old branch of the Church dating back to the fifties and has had many presiding officers. Kalanea now presides.

The Kawaihapai Branch comprises the Saints residing in a stock-raising and rice farming district situated near the western extremity of the island of O‘ahu in the district of Waialua. The village of Kawaihapai is situated on the sea coast about four miles east of Ka‘ena Point and about twenty miles from La‘ie. The branch has a small meetinghouse and a Relief Society. Kaiona is president.

Waialua Branch comprises the Saints residing in the town of Waialua, one of the most important seaports of O‘ahu, situated on the northwest coast of the island, about twenty-eight miles northwest of Honolulu, and sixteen miles by roundabout coast road from La‘ie. The branch, which is presided over by Petero Umi, has a meetinghouse and a Relief Society.

From the foregoing it will be seen that there are five meeting houses, two Sunday Schools, four Relief Societies, and two Mutual Improvement Associations in the O‘ahu Conference.

In the afternoon (June 7) I attended the weekly meeting of the La‘ie Primary Association. Sister Noall presides over the association, assisted by all the other missionary sisters. I addressed the children in English for about half an hour. There are only two Primary associations in the mission; the other one is at Honolulu. In the evening four native sisters and two native brethren visited the missionary home to sing for us. A number of beautiful pieces were rendered, the first one being composed especially for the occasion by Sister Miriama Kekuku.

Saturday, June 8. I continued my historical labors and also attended a Relief Society meeting, which I addressed by the assistance of President Noall as interpreter.

Sunday, June 9. I accompanied Elder Noall and wife to Kahana, a village eight miles distant, where we attended meeting and had a good time with the Saints. After returning to La‘ie I delivered a lecture on Church history, according to previous appointment. Brother Noall interpreted in this meeting as well as in Kahana. In the evening I addressed the missionary brethren and sisters at Lanihuli.

The Kahana Branch is perhaps a good sample of a genuine native branch of the Church on the Hawaiian Islands. In dress, manners, conversation and general deportment, they exhibit the characteristics of the race to which they belong. Both men and women came to meeting barefooted; but otherwise their persons were properly protected. The women all wear loose dresses of the Mother Hubbard style; the men’s clothing consists of shirt and trousers.

“Jenson’s Travels,” June 14, 1895 [11]

Wailuku, Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Monday, June 10. At 6:10 a.m. I left La‘ie on a tour to some of the other islands of the Hawaiian group in search of material for Church history, accompanied by President Matthew Noall and wife and their little baby boy George. We started for Honolulu with a horse team, and instead of taking the nearest and more direct road to that city, we concluded to go a more roundabout way, in order to visit a branch of the Church in another locality, and also to see other parts of the island. Hence instead of starting out in a southeasterly direction we took the road leading northwest, and after traveling three miles we reached the famous sugar plantation of Kahuku, which is situated near the northern extremity of the island of O‘ahu. Here an incorporated company has expended about a quarter of a million dollars, in the construction and importation of a sugar mill, steam plows, pumps, windmills, houses, sheds, etc. About one thousand acres are cultivated in cane, and about three hundred men, mostly Japanese, are employed. In passing through we saw about one hundred and fifty of these, clad in their light working attire of blue, engaged in planting cane in true oriental style. These Japanese are paid from $10 to $12 per month for their labors, out of which they board themselves; but wood for cooking purposes is furnished them free. The natives (Hawaiians), of whom a few also are employed on the plantation, receive $18 per month for the same kind of labor. Of course overseers, foremen, etc., get more. A cluster of white-washed lumber shanties built adjacent to the mill constitute the Japanese part of Kahuku, while the officers’ quarters are situated on the opposite side of the road, and consist of a number of fine and comfortable frame cottages. During the last two years the managers of the La‘ie Plantation have had their cane ground and sugar manufactured here, as the old mill at La‘ie, bought by the Church many years ago, is incapable of doing work suitable to the times. It is claimed that it lost about 30 percent of the saccharine matter in the process of extracting and manufacturing, which loss in these days of close sugar competition, destroyed all the profits of the cane industry; and it was found cheaper and better to let the Kahuku company do the work on shares.

A short distance west of the mill, near the old village of Kahuku, the company has built one of the finest and most modern steam pumps operated on the islands. It pumps water from a bottomless spring (which yields forth any quantity of water desired) to the higher ground, from which the water is turned into the cane fields for irrigation purposes.

Continuing our journey from Kahuku we change our course of travel from a northwesterly direction, and followed the coast for several miles until we reach the small village of Waimea, situated on the head of a little bay and at the mouth of a picturesque gulch of very narrow valley with high mountains, almost perpendicular on either side. This place is notable, historically, as the place where two naval officers were killed in 1792. They landed from a ship that was taking provisions to Vancouver’s expedition, and getting into a quarrel with the natives lost their lives. At Waimea the longest bridge on the island was constructed and opened on the occasion of Queen Lili‘uokalani’s visit to La‘ie in August 1891.

Sixteen miles from La‘ie we reach Waialua, the principal town on the northwest coast of O‘ahu. This place, which nestles beautifully in its tropical foliage and extensive orchards, is built along a fine bay affording good anchorage and at the mouth of one of the chief streams of the islands. There is a branch of the Church presided over by Petero Umi, whose large and commodious dwelling built over fifty years ago, has for several years afforded comfortable shelter for scores of Utah elders, who have visited the Hawaiian Islands as messengers of truth and salvation. The Saints at Waialua own a good and substantial meetinghouse in which regular services are held every Sabbath, and the branch, though not so large as it was years ago, is in a fair condition.

At Waialua we leave the coast and take the road leading almost through the center of the island in a southeasterly direction to the celebrated Pearl Harbor, on the water edge of which, about ten miles from Honolulu, American real estate men have located Pearl City, which they are booming for all it is worth, and undoubtedly for as much more as they can get out of it. A suburban railway connecting the place with Honolulu has already been built. Passing on we enter the suburban town of Moanalua, where there are several members of the Church; and at 6:10 p.m., twelve hours to a minute after leaving La‘ie we drove through the gate to the grounds of the branch headquarters at Honolulu to be welcomed by Elders Edwin C. Dibble, George H. Fisher, and George H. Birdno, who are laboring as missionaries on the island of O‘ahu. In our journey of forty-five miles today we saw some beautiful natural scenery, and a few lovely spots here and there between the rugged volcanic mountain systems of the island. Traveling from Waialua to Pearl Harbor, we had the irregular peaks of the Ko‘olau Range on our left and the Wai‘anae Mountains on our right. The clouds rested heavily upon the mountain tops; the winds blew, and the rain descended upon us now and then; and between times the tropical sun, as he peeped through the openings in the clouds, gave us a sample of his heating power. Utah is good enough for me!

Tuesday, June 11. This is a national holiday in the Hawaiian Islands known as Kamehameha Day. It is celebrated as the birthday of the great king Kamehameha I, the first who conquered the smaller chiefs of the different islands and founded the Hawaiian Kingdom with himself as the first king. But it is not certain that he was born on June 11. Horse racing at the Kapiolani Park was the order of the day; but instead of participating in the sports, some of us elders and Sister Noall went to Waikiki and attended the anniversary meeting of the Relief Society held at that place under the direction of Sister Koleka. We had a good meeting; many short speeches were made, aloha given and taken, means donated and disbursed, $2 being voted for me specially to help me on my journey. I spoke through Brother Noall as interpreter for a few minutes. The meeting being over, we all repaired to the adjacent grove in front of Koleka’s house, where a native feast was prepared, the food being spread on the green; eighty-five people sat down to eat, with Brother and Sister Noall and myself at the head of the “table,” or mats which were used instead of tables. The food was exceptionally good, at least at our end of the table. It consisted of poi, fresh meat, pie, bread, cakes, watermelon, etc., and while the natives with great adaptability conveyed the poi from the huge calabashes into their mouths with their fingers, while chatting in their own characteristic style, we alakais were provided with spoons; hence we escaped the rather “unpalatable” ordeal of soiling our fingers in native style. But even provided with a spoon, the poi I eat will cause no one in Hawaii to go hungry. I can eat poi already, but—well, I would just as soon try something else. After the feast, several members of the Honolulu choir who were present entertained us by singing several beautiful songs, closing with the popular piece called “Aloha ‘Oe.” They also sang the national air “Hawai‘i Pono‘i.” Then we all returned to Honolulu.

Wednesday, June 12. After attending to several duties during the day, Elder Matthew Noall, wife and child, and myself boarded the steamer Likelike and sailed from Honolulu at 6:30 p.m., bound for the islands of Maui and Hawai‘i. The evening was windy and the sea rough, and we had no sooner got outside the harbor than the little vessel began to pitch and roll in a most disagreeable manner. Well, the consequence, as one might suppose, was that all hands, except the sailors and cooks, got seasick. And genuine, straightforward seasickness it was, too. My immediate traveling companions—I hate to mention names when I write of unpleasant things—were among the greatest sufferers. And it lasted all night and until long after sunrise the next morning. And the historian was like the rest. His experience on five voyages across the Atlantic, and a 2,500-mile voyage on the Pacific counted for nothing in these Hawaiian waters, or at least not onboard the Likelike. In vain did he endeavor to copy the theory of the Christian Scientists and imagine himself well. He was sick, and it was of no use denying it; and he did not, after two or three attempts; but the next morning he recorded in his private journal that one of the most miserable nights of his life was spent onboard the Likelike en route from O‘ahu to Maui.

Thursday, June 13. Being more under the influence of seasickness than sleep. I found myself on the deck of the Likelike at 2:00 in the morning looking for land. I had observed that the vessel had ceased her pitching and rolling to a certain extent, as if she was on the leeward side of something. And sure enough there it was! In the beautiful tropical moonlight the mountains of Moloka‘i could be seen distinctly on our left, and the noble heights of the island of Lana‘i on our right. I thought of Walter M. Gibson on his rock “Temple” as some termed his “sacred” house on Lana‘i; but being nearsighted I could not see it. And, though so sick, I also looked for the leper settlement on Moloka‘i, but I was informed by a fellow passenger that it was on the other side of the island. Passing on we saw another land ahead of us. This I was told was the island of Maui; but judge of my disappointment when I learned that our place of destination was on the windward side of the island, and that we in passing its most northwestern point would be exposed to the heavy rolling seas worse than ever. But there was no help, for the vessel was bound for Kahului and not for Lahaina.

Well, the daybreak came at the proper hour, but the wind blew and the sea rolled just the same; the sun rose—one of the passengers said in the west—but the wind, sea, and seasickness continued as in the middle of the night. No relief. Breakfast was announced, but though every stomach was empty, the invitation to replenish it was unheeded; the steamship company saved the meal which was due the passengers who had paid cabin fare, and the purser no doubt made a proper entry in the profit and loss column.

Wailuku from the east looking up 'Iao Valley. Courtesy of Church History Library. 

But all trouble had an end. At 8:30 a.m. the rattling of chains announced the fact that the anchor was being cast into the sea, and the passengers were informed that Kahului Bay had been reached at last, and that they were at liberty to land. Well, that was easier said than done. How could the poor suffering specimens of humanity, who had spent such a dreadful night onboard, be lowered into the small boats while the sea yet persisted to rock-a-bye the good Likelike as if she was still in midocean. But the task was accomplished much easier than anticipated. The steps were lowered; the passengers descended one at a time to the lower end, and when a heavy sea would bring the boat up within hailing distance of the steps, he or she would drop into it; and while waiting for another wave, another passenger would prepare to drop. In this manner all the passengers who intended to land at Kahului descended and were finally rowed ashore and landed in safety. Once more on terra firma we looked for our friends who were expected to meet us; but as none were in sight, we hired a carriage, which took us four miles through Wailuku (photo of Wailuku) into the lower end of the historical ‘Iao Valley, to the residence or Kuai ‘Aina, the president of the Wailuku Branch, where we also had the pleasure of meeting three of our brethren from Zion. They were Elders Wm. H. Mendenhall, president of the Maui Conference, Henry Moss, and Lewis R. Jenkins. These brethren had been waiting for us a whole day, the steamer which brought us being one day behind her regular time. After washing in the creek, we ate a little rice, bread, and fruit, but the effects of the seasickness remained with us all day. We now spent most of the day at the house of Kuai ‘Aina, who was kind to us, conversing with our fellow missionaries and some natives who came to see us. We also perused books and wrote historical and descriptive notes. Towards evening Brother Noall and I visited Keau, an old member of the Church, residing in the lower end of the town of Wailuku, and at 6:30 we commenced a two-and-a-half-hour meeting with the Saints of the Wailuku Branch in the lumber meetinghouse, standing on the north side of the creek at the foot of the cactus-covered mountain. (Photo of Wailuku Branch.) Brother and Sister Noall and I were the speakers, Elder Noall interpreting for me. We had a good time, and the natives, of whom about fifty were present, seemed highly pleased and after the meeting shook hands with us very warmly. We returned to the house of Kuai ‘Aina and spent the night—my only night on the island of Maui.

“Jenson’s Travels,” June 14, 1895 [12]

Waikapu, Maui, Hawaiian Islands

The Maui Conference embraces all the Saints residing on the islands of Maui, Moloka‘i, and Lana‘i, and according to the statistical report December 31, 1894, it consisted of nineteen branches; namely, fifteen on Maui, three on Moloka‘i, and one on Lana‘i. (Map of Maui branches) The names of the branches with the total number of souls in each are as follows: Waiehu, 56; Wailuku, 132; Waikapu, 85; Pulehu, 149; Pa‘ia, 19; Peahi, or Halauololo, 56; Pauwela, 24; Kama‘ole, 58; Ke‘anae, 41; Ula‘ino, 29; Hana, 46; Kipahulu, 22; Keone‘o‘io, 38; Lahaina, 69; Kana‘ula, 54. All those are on the island of Maui. The three branches on Moloka‘i are Kalawao, with 78; Kalaupapa, with 149; and Kainalu, with 54 souls belonging to the Church. The branch on Lana‘i called Palawai has only thirteen members. The totals for the whole conference give 102 elders, 42 priests, 48 teachers, 49 deacons, and 75 lay members: namely, 275 males and 430 females. Adding 218 children under 8 years of age, the total of souls belonging to the Church in the conference is 1,164 divided into 422 families. This makes Maui the largest conference in the Hawaiian Mission. It will be remembered also that Maui is the cradle of Mormonism on the Hawaiian Islands, this being Elder George Q. Cannon’s first successful field of missionary labor.

Branches in Maui, Molokai, and Lanai described by Andrew Jenson during his tour of 1895

Maui ranks as the second island of the Hawaiian group in point of size and agricultural importance. The island is formed of two mountain masses joined together by a low isthmus, the northwestern part being the smaller. The mountains of that part of the island are very rugged, and are pierced by several deep valleys. On the northern side the cliffs form steep precipices, facing the sea. On the west the land is more undulating and spreads out into pasture lands. The southeastern or main part of the island is filled up by the great mountain Haleakala (the house of the sun), whose summit is 10,030 feet above the level of the sea; it is also the largest extinct volcano in the world. The rim of the crater is nearly twenty miles in circumference; its depth is 2,700 feet below the highest point. The view from the brink takes in the whole crater in all its grandness, while the hills on its floor, which are from five to seven hundred feet in height, appear like ant hills. The rim of the crater is broken in two places by gaps, known respectively as the Ko‘olau and Kaupo gaps. Through these, in past times, the lava ran to the sea. The northeastern coast is rugged, forming a succession of palis, or precipices, facing the sea. The southern slope is rocky, and marked here and there by old lava flows. The western slope is gentle and covered with grass, which affords good pasture. The area of the whole island is 760 square miles; its length is 48 miles; average breadth, 30 miles; population in 1890, 17,357. The island is divided into four civil or political districts, named respectively, Lahaina, Wailuku, Makawao, and Hana.

The Maui Conference is presided over during the present term (from April to October, 1895) by Elder William H. Mendenhall, assisted by Elders Henry Moss and Lewis R. Jenkins. Their headquarters are at the town of Wailuku, which is noted as the place where one of the first branches of the Church was organized in the Hawaiian Islands, and is still one of the largest branches of the Church in the mission. It has a meetinghouse, a Sunday School, a Relief Society, and a Mutual Improvement Association. The town of Wailuku is one of the historic places on the islands. It was in the valley of ‘Iao lying immediately back of the town where Kamehameha I, in 1790, defeated the king of Maui. On that occasion the stream is said to have been choked up with dead bodies, and therefore the name Wailuku (the water of slaughter) was given to the creek. It was at Wailuku also that Walter M. Gibson held some of his greatest conferences with the natives and sold his “Priesthood” certificates to them. Wailuku has a present about 2,000 inhabitants. It is situated on rising ground about two miles inland, or three miles from the landing place of Kahului, on the north coast of Maui, with which it is connected by railroad. It is surrounded by the Wailuku Plantation cornfields.

The Waiehu Branch comprises the Saints residing at the plantation and village of Waiehu, which is situated about two miles inland from the northern coast of Maui and about four miles north of Wailuku. The branch has a lumber meetinghouse, a Sunday School, a Relief Society and a Mutual Improvement Association; Kahalokai is president.

Waikapu Branch consist of the Saints residing in the village of that name beautifully situated on the narrow neck of land connecting the two sections of the island of Maui, and commands a beautiful view of Mount Haleakala and the sea both north and south. The branch has a neat little meetinghouse, a Sunday School, Relief Society, and a Mutual Improvement Association.

The Pulehu Branch, the largest in the conference and one of the first branches organized on Maui, comprises the Saints residing in a scattered farming district known also as Kula on the northwestern slope of Mount Haleakala. The meetinghouse belonging to the branch is centrally located near the main road twelve miles southeast of Wailuku and about midway between the southwestern and northeastern coast of the island. There is also a Sunday School, a Relief Society, and a Mutual Improvement Association. Palo has presided over the branch since 1892.

The Pa‘ia Branch comprises the Saints residing at or near the plantation of Pa‘ia, which is situated near the north coast of Maui, about ten miles east of Wailuku, with which town and Kahului it is connected by railway.

The Peahi (or Halauololo) Branch consists of Saints residing in the scattered settlement of that name situated inland about three miles from the north coast of Maui, and about fifteen miles east of Wailuku. There is a lumber meetinghouse somewhat centrally located; also a Sunday School, a Relief Society and a Mutual Improvement Association. Palu Kekauhuna is president of the branch.

The Pa‘uwela Branch consists of the Saints residing in the native village of Pa‘uwela, situated about one and one-half miles inland from the north coast of Maui, and about nineteen miles east of Wailuku. The president’s name is Kalakana.

The Kama‘ole Branch comprises the Saints residing in and about the native village of that name situated in the district of Makawao on the western slope of Mount Haleakala, in the neighborhood previously mentioned known as Kula. The village is about twenty miles southeast of Wailuku, and about eight miles inland from the seaport town of Makena. The branch owns the best Latter-day Saint meetinghouse on the island, and has also a Sunday School and a Relief Society. Uilania Kaluau presides.

The Ke‘anae Branch embraces the Saints residing in the two coast villages of Ke‘anae and Honomanu, mostly in the latter place where the president, Iona, resides. Honomanu is situated in a deep gulch, near the northeast coast of Maui, and about twenty-five miles southeast of Wailuku.

The Ula‘ino Branch consists of Saints residing in a typical native town of that name situated on the northeast coast of Maui, in the Hana District, and about seven miles southeast of the seaport town of Ke‘anae. The branch owns a little meetinghouse of the genuine native order, with thatched roof, rock floor, a door five feet wide, and provided with mats for seats instead of benches. The branch is presided over by David Ho‘opai, and has a Sunday School.

The Hana Branch comprises the Saints residing in the village and plantation of Hana, situated on the coast and near the eastern extremity of the island of Maui, in the district of Hana. The branch owns a lumber meetinghouse centrally located in the native village. There was once a large branch at this place, having all the usual auxiliary organizations; but during the past few years it has retrograded considerably. Wahahu presides over the branch at present.

The Kipahulu Branch consists of the Saints residing in the seaport town and plantation of Kipahulu situated on the southeastern coast of Maui, in the district of Hana, and about ten miles southwest of the town of Hana. The name of the president is Kauhane.

The Keone‘o‘io Branch consists of the Saints residing in a small fishing village situated on the barren lava rocks on the south coast of Maui, in the district of Makawao, and about six miles southeast of the seaport town Makena. S. D. Kapono presides over the branch, which also has a Sunday School organization.

The Lahaina Branch comprises the Saints living in the historic town of Lahaina, situated on the west coast of Maui. It is an old branch and has a long and interesting history, the material for which is partly on hand. The branch, which is presided over by Kapae, has a meetinghouse, a Sunday School, a Relief Society, and a Mutual Improvement Association.

The Kana‘ula Branch consists of Saints residing in a native village of that name situated in a deep gulch about four miles inland or southeasterly from Lahaina, on west Maui. The branch has a lumber meetinghouse, with thatched roof centrally located; also a Sunday School, a Relief Society, and a Mutual Improvement Association. Hika is branch president.

The island of Moloka‘i is forty miles long and seven miles wide; its area is 270 square miles, and the population is 1890 was 2,632. The northern part of this island is very precipitous, the cliffs extending to the extreme east. The southern side of the island has a narrow belt of flat land, which broadens toward the west. Moloka‘i is one of the least visited of all the Hawaiian Islands, and has but a few foreign residents. Kalaupapa is a peninsula on the north side of the island. The cliffs which surround it are over 2,000 feet high. The only access to the peninsula is by sea, or by a narrow path down the face of the cliffs. At this place is the leper settlement, to which all who have this terrible disease are ordered sent. The lepers live in houses which they build for themselves, or which are erected by the Board of Health. Food is sent from Honolulu and from the adjoining valleys, at the expense of the government.

Of the three branches of the Church on Moloka‘i, two are at the leper settlement, namely Kalaupapa and Kalawao. Both of them have meetinghouses, schoolhouses, Relief Societies, and Mutual Improvement Associations. J. B. M. Kapule presides over the Kalawao (Photo of Kalawao) Branch and S. Kekai over the Kalaupapa Branch. The Kainalu Branch consists of Saints residing in a scattered fishermen’s settlement situated on the east end of Moloka‘i, presided over by Kaulili. There is a meetinghouse and Sunday School at this place.

The island of Lana‘i, lying west of Maui and south of Moloka‘i, is one of the least fertile islands of the Hawaiian group; its area consists of 150 square miles; its length is 19 miles, its breadth, 10 miles. The hills are covered with grass and sheep raising is the chief industry. The water supply is obtained chiefly from rain, since there is only one stream on the island, and this does not reach the sea all the year round. Palawai, the highest elevation, is 3,200 feet above the sea level. The readers of the News will remember that Lana‘i was the island designated as a gathering place for the Hawaiian Saints at an early day. The first Saints gathered there in 1855, and when the American elders returned home in 1858, there were several hundred of them gathered to the island. During the Gibson career, from 1861 to 1864, the property known as Palawai was purchased by Saints for money contributed by the natives, but Gibson had the deed to the same made over in his own name; and after he was excommunicated from the Church by the Apostles in 1864, he refused to deed over the property to the Saints who had paid for it, or to the Church. It remained in his possession till his death and is now owned by his heir or son-in-law who resides at Lahaina, on Maui.

Kalawao, ca. 1890. Courtesy of Brigham Young University-Hawaii Library-Archives. 

“Jenson’s Travels,” June 16, 1895 [13]

Hilo, Hawai‘i, Hawaiian Islands

Friday, June 14. Elder Lewis R. Jenkins was sent to Waikapu, a village three miles off, with our valises, while Elders Noall, Mendenhall, Moss, and myself accompanied Sister Noall to the Relief Society meeting, which was held according to previous appointment in the Wailuku meetinghouse. A thorough reorganization of the society was effected and a new set of officers voted in and set apart. I also spoke to the sisters a few minutes, Sister Noall interpreting for me. After the meeting we attended to some historical labors and then sent Sister Noall and child on horseback to Waikapu while the rest of us walked over, horses being scarce among the Saints. After partaking of the hospitality of Mahele, the president of the Waikapu Branch, we held a meeting with the Saints, in their neat little meetinghouse, at which Elder Noall, Sister Noall, and myself were the speakers; and we had a good time, though the meeting was not so well attended as we could have desired. At 8:30 p.m. we gave the parting hand to Elders Mendenhall, Moss, and Jenkins, they returning to Wailuku, while their visitors traveled in a hired hack about four miles to Ma‘alaea Bay, arriving there at 9:30 p.m. Here we had to wait several hours for the arrival of the steamer, and there being no waiting room or any accommodations whatever to give comfort to passengers, we sat in the carriage several hours, while the wind blew almost a hurricane. This place is much dreaded as a seaport because of its heavy and frequent winds. On our evening ride for Waikapu to the bay we obtained a fine view of Mount Haleakala on our left, the beautiful moonlight lending additional enhancement to the scene.

Saturday, June 15. At 12:30 a.m. after waiting at Ma‘alaea landing three hours, the fine steamer Kinau hove in sight and soon afterwards cast anchor some distance from shore, from whence boats were sent to the landing for freight and passengers. At 1:00 a.m. we were all onboard and steamed off for Hawai‘i. At 2:00 a.m. a stop was made off Makena, from which point the small horseshoe-shaped islet of Molokini was in plain sight and beyond it the island of Kaho‘olawe. The latter is one of the smallest inhabited islands of the Hawaiian group. The highest elevation on it is 1,450 feet. There is a good harbor and a plentiful supply of grass. Molokini is merely a bare rock formed of a horseshoe-shaped crater, about 165 feet high at the summit. There is excellent fishing near the island, which is not inhabited.

Proceeding on our voyage from Makena at 3:00 a.m., we sailed along the south shore of Maui and thence across the 30-mile-wide ‘Alenuihaha Channel, which separates the islands of Maui and Hawai‘i. When daylight finally dawned upon us, the mountains of the latter island were in plain sight. There are three grand mountains which form the basis of the great island of Hawai‘i. One of these is Mauna Loa (13,675 feet high), whose summit is near the center of the island; Mauna Kea (13,805 feet), whose rugged top was covered with snow; and Mauna Hualalai (8,275 feet). As we sailed along the west shore of Hawai‘i, the sight of the three grand elevations as they appeared in the cloudless morning was beautiful beyond description. At 9:00 a.m. we cast anchor off Kawaihae Bay. From our place of anchorage we had a good view of the rocky shore, and a short distance to the right of the landing could be seen the ruins of an ancient heathen temple on which human sacrifices were made in olden times.[14] At 10:30 a.m. anchor was again weighed, and the Kinau retraced her course ten miles and then cast anchor off Mahukona, in the distance of North Kohala, where we remained till 5:00 p.m., there being a great deal of freight to land at this place, which is the shipping point for all the sugar plantations in North Kohala. A railroad recently built from Mahukona along the coast around the northernmost point of the island is a great help to the transportation business. Soon after anchoring off Mahukona we were much pleased to see Elder Thomas Brimley, of Salt Lake City, accompanied by a native missionary companion (Kainuawa) come onboard. Elder Brimley is the president of the North Hawai‘i Conference and had been advised by letter that we were coming. After spending some little time on the steamer, I returned with him and his native companion to shore, where we spent an hour or more together while he gave me the needed information in regard to his conference; and I gave him the instructions for him in regard to keeping records.

The North Hawai‘i Conference, over which Elder Brimley presides, includes the north half of the island of Hawai‘i, which is the largest of all the Hawaiian Islands, being 90 miles long and 74 miles wide; the area is 4,210 square miles, and the population in 1890 was 26,754. The island is divided into eight districts. Of these, North Kohala, South Kohala, Hamakua, and Hilo border on the northeast, north, and west coast and are comprised in what we in a church capacity call the North Hawai‘i Conference. The other four districts, namely, North Kona, South Kona, Ka‘u, and Puna are embraced in the South Hawai‘i Conference. The island of Hawai‘i presents the grandest scenery of any island in the group; its area is more than one and a half times all the other islands put together. When viewed from a distance the island seems formed of three large domes, viz., the mountains of Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, and Hualalai. The slope of these mountains is so gentle that it is impossible to realize their height. The island being of such a large size, the climate varies very much. The eastern, or windward, side receiving the trade wind showers is well watered, and the land is much cut up by gulches. The climate is moist. Along the western or leeward coast, the trade wind is shut off by the mountain masses in the center of the island. The climate along the coast is dry, and for miles no running streams are to be found. Ascending the mountains, every variety of climate can be found until frost is reached. At the summit of the mountains there is always a little snow; but in the wintertime, when there are storms, the snow sometimes extends for more than twelve miles from the summit of Mauna Loa. Wedged among the three large mountains is a tableland between 1,000 and 6,000 feet high. This region is very bleak but affords pasturage for sheep. The most striking features of Hawai‘i are the active volcanoes and the lava flows. The whole island, like the rest of the group, is volcanic; but we see here the volcanic action still going on, while on the other islands it has long since ceased. The most fertile parts of the island are along the northwestern coast and in the extreme southern part. Large tracts of land are extremely barren, being nothing but bare lava rocks extending for miles. At a height of from 1,500 to 2,000 feet above the sea level is a broad belt of forestland which reaches up to a height of from 4,000 to 4,500 feet. Above this the mountains are bare and rocky. Hawai‘i stands first in agricultural importance, and its products are more varied than those of any other single island in the group (from A Geography of the Hawaiian Islands[15]).

Branches on the Big Island of Hawai'i described by Andrew Jenson during his tour of 1895

In my conversations with Elder Brimley I learned most of the following about the North Hawai‘i Conference. Elder John D. Hooper is his only white missionary assistant the present term. Each travels separately most of the time, with native companions. Two of these are laboring in the conference the present term, one of them being Peter Kealakaihonua, the first and only native Hawaiian elder who has been sent from the headquarters of the Church as a regular missionary to his native land; the other is Kainuawa, who I met in company with Elder Brimley. The North Hawaiian Conference at the present time consists of 22 branches of the Church with a total membership of 997, including children. There are 85 elders, 38 priests, 40 teachers, 35 deacons, and 610 lay members, namely, 239 males and 371 females. Eleven of the branches have meetinghouses or regular houses of worship; fifteen have Sunday Schools, eleven Relief Societies, and ten Mutual Improvement Associations. (Map of the Big Island branches)

The branches briefly described and given in their geographical order are as follows:

The Puakea Branch comprises the Saints residing in a village of that name situated near the northwest extremity of the island of Hawai‘i, in the district of North Kohala, about four miles north of the landing place Mahukona, on the seashore. There is a lumber meetinghouse situated on a hill above the village. There is also a Sunday School and a Mutual Improvement Association. Keaweluna presides of the branch, twenty-two members.

The Honomakau Branch embraces the Saints residing in the village of that name and at the Union Mills situated about a mile inland from the north shore of Hawai‘i, in the district of North Kohala. The branch has a lumber meetinghouse and a Sunday School, eighty-three members or souls, and Kuamoa for president.

The Halawa Branch embraces the Saints residing in the village of Halawa and the plantations of Halawa and Kohala, on the north coast of Hawai‘i, in the district of North Kohala. The meetinghouse, a lumber building, is situated in a small gulch on the outskirts of the village of Halawa. The branch has a Sunday School, a Relief Society, and a Mutual Improvement Association. It is one of the liveliest branches in the conference. Halawa is about ten miles by railroad northeast of Mahukona.

At present (June 1895) the Saints of the Hala‘ula Branch met at Halawa; Keaweamahi is president.

The Hala‘ula Branch comprises the Saints working on the Kohala Plantation, which is situated about one and one-half miles inland from the North Shore of Hawai‘i in the district of North Kohala between Halawa (about two miles southeast) and Union Mills (about three and one-half miles northwest). In the latter part of 1894, the foreman of the Kohala Plantation deprived the branch president Keohuhu of his house, in which the meetings were held, in consequence of which the branch was temporarily joined to the Halawa Branch, to which it had belonged once before. There were fifty-three members in the branch when the change was made, and it was the addiction of these to the Halawa Branch which made affairs there lively.

Niuli‘i Branch comprises the Saints residing in the village and plantation of Niuli‘i, situated near the northern extremity of the island of Hawai‘i, in the district of North Kohala, about two miles inland and nearly three miles from Honokane and the east terminus of the Kohala Railway. The branch owns a lumber meetinghouse, the best of the kind in the conference. There is also a Sunday School, a Relief Society, and a Mutual Improvement Association. Honoli‘i presides over the branch; fifty-nine members.

Honokane comprises nearly the entire population of the village of that name, which is situated in the Honokane Gulch and enclosed on three sides by steep mountains, while the sea is on the other. This branch, which has forty-eight members, is also in North Kohala, has a meetinghouse, a Sunday School, a Relief Society and a Mutual, and is presided over by Nali‘i. [16]

At Kawaihae, a seaport village in South Kohaha, there are five members of the Church presided over by Uliama Ho‘okuanui.

At Kalaoa, a very small native village situated in the mountains about five miles inland from Kawaihae, there are eight members of the Church.

Waimea is a stock-raising country situated on the tableland at the foot of Mauna Kea, where the people are engaged in raising cattle and horses. The place is about twelve miles inland from Kawaihae landing, on the west shore of Hawai‘i, in south Kohala. The small branch, presided over by Kauwe, had thirteen members; a Relief Society organization also exists.

The Waimanu Branch comprises fifty-six Saints residing in the village of Waimanu, situated in a deep gulch away by itself, on the northeast coast of Hawai‘i, in the district of Hamakua. Kuamo‘o presides over the branch, which also has a Sunday School and a Mutual. [17]

The Waipio (Photo of Waipio) Branch, with eighty-four Saints, is one of the most lively branches in the North Hawai‘i Conference and comprises a portion of the inhabitants of a rice-raising village situated in a deep gulch on the northeast coast of Hawai‘i, in the district of Hamakua, about twenty-five miles northwest of the Laupahoehoe landing. The branch has a meetinghouse, a Sunday School, a Relief Society, and a Mutual Improvement Association, and Beniamina is president. A few Saints living at a small village called Kukuihaele, situated about one-half miles from Waipio, also belong to that branch.

The Honoka‘a Branch comprises the Saints residing in a village and sugar plantation of that name, situated about ten miles southeast of Waipio, on the northeast coast of Hawai‘i, in the district of Hamakua. The branch has seventy Saints, a Sunday School, a Relief Society, and a Mutual, but no meetinghouse; Kuapalahalaha is president.

The Pa‘auhau Branch, with seventeen members, contains the Saints living in a village of that name, situated about one mile inland from the northeast coast of Hawai‘i, in the district of Hamakua, about ten miles northwest of Laupahoehoe; A. N. Ka‘aua is president.

The ‘Aleakila Branch is a continuation of a former branch called Pa‘auilo, comprising thirty-one Saints residing about four miles southeast of Honoka‘a, in the districts of Hamakua; J. Polani is president.

The Kihalani Branch comprises the Saints residing in the native village of that name situated about one mile inland from the northeast coast of Hawai‘i, in the district of Hilo, and about two miles south of the Laupahoehoe landing. The branch owns a small lumber meetinghouse, and Ka‘ai Kuma is president.

The Weloka Branch (formerly known as Maulua) comprises the Saints residing in the native village of Weloka, situated in a deep gulch, on the northeast coast of Hawai‘i in the district of Hilo. There are forty-seven Saints in the branch, also a meetinghouse, a Sunday School, a Relief Society, a Mutual, and Keli‘ipule‘ole for president.

The Wailea Branch comprises the Saints residing in the villages of Wailea and Honomu in the district of Hilo. The branch has thirty-six members and a Sunday School organization; Kahuena presides. Wailea is fifteen miles north of Hilo and on the coast.

The Kahua Branch, with seventy-one Saints, comprises the members of the Church residing in the village of Kahua and the plantation of Pepe‘ekeo, on the Hilo District and about ten miles north of the town of Hilo. It is a lively branch and has a meetinghouse, a Sunday School, a Relief Society, and a Mutual; Kapeliela presides. The ‘Aleamai Branch (formerly called the Kahali‘i) comprises the Saints (ninety-five in number) residing in the native village of ‘Aleamai and the Papa‘ikou Plantation. The branch has a meetinghouse (built in 1895), a Sunday School, Relief Society, and a Mutual. ‘Aleamai is seven miles from Hilo; S. W. Waiono is president of the branch.

The Hilo Branch (also called Pu‘u‘eo) comprises forty-eight Saints residing in Hilo, the principal town of the island of Hawai‘i, but the suburban town of Pu‘u‘eo. It has a Sunday School and a Relief Society and needs a meetinghouse very much. The president’s name is Heleloa.

Waiakea is a suburb of Hilo beautifully situated at the mouth of a river about a mile east of Hilo. Po presides over the branch at that place, which has thirty-five members, a Sunday School, and a Relief Society.

The Keaukaha Branch comprises the Saints residing in a native village of that name situated about three miles east of Hilo on the coast. Kahoilua presides over the branch, which has thirty-one members, a meetinghouse, and a Sunday School.

Waipio, a rice raising village. Courtesy of Church History Library. 

At 5:00 p.m. (June 15) the steamer Kinau weighed her anchor once more and sailed on her course. Leaving Mahukona she rounded the northernmost point of Hawai‘i and thence steamed along the northeast coast of the island toward Hilo. The scenery along this coast is grand and beautiful, but as the darkness of the night set in just as we were getting to the most interesting parts, we could not enjoy it. Besides, the sea was quite rough, and the wind blew hard from the ocean side. Consequently, the steamer rolled fearfully, and my traveling companions were trying to duplicate their actions of the previous night. As for myself I barely escaped giving my supper to the fishes. Toward midnight the steamer stopped to unload freight at Laupahoehoe.

Sunday, June 16. At 2:00 a.m. we arrived at Hilo, the principal town on the Island of Hawai‘i and the second in size and importance in the Hawaiian group. The ship’s boat landed the passengers at the wharf, which however was not done without difficulty, as the sea rolled heavily towards the shore. At the landing we were met by Mr. Henry West (a half-caste) and another native (D. Kea‘akulo) who had been up all night waiting for us. They hired a cab and took us up to the residence of Mr. West (whose wife is a member of the Church) in the outskirts of the town, where we received a most hearty welcome, and after some conversation went to bed for a few hours. We arose at 8:00 a.m., took a refreshing bath in the adjacent creek, ate a lovely breakfast, and went to meeting at 11:00 a.m. at the Salvation Army quarters, which had been secured for the occasion. Quite a number of Saints attended and we had a good meeting, myself, Sister Noall, and Brother Noall speaking in the order given. After the usual handshaking and greeting, we interviewed some of the natives for history; then took a walk through the town of Hilo; went to Mr. West’s for supper; then walked to the suburban town of Waikea, situated at the mouth of a beautiful river; thence back again to Hilo; and looked for a suitable piece of land to buy for meetinghouse grounds, such a house being needed very much in Hilo as there are quite a number of Saints residing in the immediate neighborhood. We spent the evening conversing with Mr. West, who declared himself a believer in the principles we taught and expected to become a member of the Church at some future day.

“Jenson’s Travels,” June 17, 1895 [18]

Volcano House, Puna, Hawai‘i, Hawaiian Islands

Monday, June 17. A Portuguese carriage which we had engaged the day before called for us at 8:00 a.m., and we started for the celebrated volcano known as Kilauea. The distance from Hilo to the volcano is thirty-one miles, and there is a first-class road built at the expense of the government, all the way. The road is supposed to have cost $200,000. The ride is very interesting, as the road took us through well-cultivated cane fields, coffee plantations, dense tropical forests, etc., etc. Such a variety of ferns as those seen along this road I have never gazed upon before. They grow here in all their tropical beauty, from the most miniature species to the size of tall trees. The spongy trunk of the large species are used for paving roads and sidewalks, and a certain soft, downy part is utilized for filling mattresses and pillows and also for upholstery purposes. If the coffee industry in this part of the country proves a financial success, as the indications already show, Hawai‘i may yet become densely populated with coffee growers. The quality raised already ranks among the best in the world.

We arrived at the volcano house at 5:30 p.m. The day was rainy, but being somewhat protected against the wet in our covered carriage, we enjoyed our ride very much, though the time consumed in traveling the thirty-one miles was unnecessarily long, owing to the great love which our native driver entertained for his lazy mules. Mules appear to be mules even on Hawai‘i, and the mule instincts cropped out all day long. An American driver would have found a sure remedy in a little well-applied buckskin. On our arrival at the hotel, the genial host, Mr. Peter Lee, a Norwegian by birth, bid us welcome to his mountain resort. The hotel stands on the edge of the great crater and on ground which is elevated 4,100 feet above the level of the sea; but the ascent from Hilo is so very gentle and regular that a traveler scarcely notices that he is climbing.

It being too late to see the volcano that night, I was about to start out for an evening walk to what appeared to me as a neighboring hill a short distance westward. Judge of my surprise when, on inquiry, I was told, “Why, man, that is Mauna Loa, the greatest mountain in Hawai‘i, twenty-five miles away.” “My! How deceptive are the distances here, and I mistook it for an ordinary hill.”

No wonder that the natives of Hawai‘i called this the “long mountain,” and the Spanish discoverers named it “the table,” or compared with its length, it looks at a distance very flat and spreads out like a long table with no peak and scarcely any discernible hill. Located on its flat summit, 13,675 feet above the sea and nearly of equal distance from the ocean, east, south, and west, is its great crater called Moku‘aweoweo. It is seldom in action, and when it does break out, perhaps once in five years, it remains in action usually only a short time. When there are lava streams from this mountain, they burst out from the sides, and are not an overflow from the summit crater, and the streams flow in whichsoever direct on the incline is sufficient to attract it. Several destructive eruptions of this mountain have become facts of history. On August 11, 1855, a stream of lava burst out of the northeastern side of the mountain at an elevation of 12,000 feet, and ran directly toward Hilo. In some places it was over two miles wide. After having flowed for fifteen months it reached a point within eight miles of Hilo, November 22, 1856, causing great alarm to the inhabitants of that town; but, there the flow ceased and Hilo was saved. Again on January 23, 1859, an eruption took place from a fissure on the northern side of the mountain, about 10,000 feet above the sea. The lava stream flowed to the northwest passing around the eastern and northern sides of Mount Hualalai, and reached the sea at Keawaiki, North Kona, in eight days, filling up a great fish pond constructed by Kamehameha I at Kiholo. The lava continued to flow until August, a period of seven months. On March 27, 1868, an eruption began in the summit crater of Mauna Loa, attended by a long series of earthquake shocks. At length, on April 2, a terrible earthquake took place, which shook down every stone wall and nearly every house in the district of Ka‘u, and did more or less damage in every part of the island of Hawai‘i. At Kapapala, in eastern Ka‘u, it caused a destructive landslide, commonly known as the “mud flow.” An enormous mass of marshy clay was detached from the bluff at the head of the valley and in a few minutes swept down for a distance of three miles in a stream about half a mile wide and thirty feet deep in the middle. It moved so swiftly that it overtook and buried thirty-one human beings and over five hundred horses, cattle, and goats. Immediately after this earthquake, a tremendous wave, forty or fifty feet high, rolled in upon the coast of Kau, sweeping away all the villages from Ka‘alualu to Keanahou, and destroying some coconut groves. Over eighty persons perished in a few minutes, and the survivors were left destitute and suffering. At the same time the crater of Kilauea emptied itself of its lava through underground fissures towards the southwest. The central part of the floor of the crater fell in, forming a pit 3,000 feet long and 500 feet deep with sloping sides. On April 7, 1868, the lava from the central crater of Mauna Loa burst out on the southwest slope of the mountain, in the land of Kahuku, at a point 5,600 feet above the sea. The lava spouted up in great fountains several hundred feet high and flowed to the sea, a distance of ten miles, in two hours. This eruption continued only five days. It destroyed several houses and several hundred head of cattle and overflowed 4,000 acres of good land. Three men were imprisoned for several days on a hill surrounded by lava streams. On May 10, 1877, a great earthquake wave was experienced on all the Hawaiian Islands, which washed away the village of Waiakea, near Hilo, and drowned five persons.

On November 5, 1880, a light was seen in the summit crater of Mauna Loa. The next day a stream of lava made its appearance at a point 11,100 feet above the level of the sea, on the eastern slope of the mountain. It continued to flow for nine months, along the southern edge of the flow of 1855, and finally stopped three-fourths of a mile from the town of Hilo, near the Halai hills, August 10, 1881.

Again, in December 1886, there were frequent earthquakes in southern Hawai‘i. At length, on January 16, 1887, fire appeared on the summit of Mauna Loa, and on the 18th, an outbreak took place in the district of Ka‘u, north of Kahuku, at an elevation of 6,500 feet, and twenty miles from the sea. The lava stream reached the sea at noon the next day, four miles west of the flow of 1868, and continued to flow until the 24th. Since 1886 the grand old mountain has behaved itself and kept its fire within its own bosom; but inasmuch as former eruptions have taken place when Kilauea is sleeping, and that being the condition of Kilauea at the present time, some are expecting another outburst from Mauna Loa in the near future.

From the Volcano House, Hawai‘i’s other great mountain Mauna Kea (the “white mountain”) is also in clear sight, though its summit is over thirty miles away to the northwest. It has a number of peaks or hills, which give it a serrated appearance, while its rival presents a more even, regular, or smooth outline. The ascent of Mauna Kea is not very difficult and can be made in one or two days with good animals, starting from the inland town of Waimea. The trail from here is generally to the east and up the mountain through groves of mamane trees. The summit plateau is about five miles in extent. There the air is very cold and rarified and has a stupefying effect on both men and animals. A lake of fresh water is found on the summit which is often frozen around the edges in winter, but seldom, if ever, entirely frozen over. Its elevation is 13,050 feet, and if not the highest, it is among the very highest lakes in the world.

The Volcano House is in the district of Puna, which is embraced in the South Hawai‘i Conference. This conference comprises all the Saints residing in the districts of Puna, Ka‘u, South Kona, and North Kona. The conference consists of eleven branches, containing a total membership of 517, including children under eight years of age. Of these, 50 are elders, 7 priests, 11 teachers, 10 deacons, and 350 lay members, namely, 154 males and 196 females. Five of the branches have meetinghouses and Sunday Schools, four Relief Societies, and three Mutual Improvement Associations. Elder William Thompson presides over the conference the present term (from April to October 1895), assisted by Elder Wilder T. Hatch. The branches named in order of their geographical situation are as follows: Ko‘ae, 19 Saints; Kapa‘ahu, 51; Pahala, 101; Na‘alehu, 86; Hinakukui, 32; Pu‘u‘eo, 30; Papa, 58; Opihali, 40; Ka‘ohe, 26; Keokea, 26; and Kahalu‘u, 28.

The Ko‘ae Branch comprises the Saints residing in the native village of that name, situated near the extreme eastern point of the island of Hawai‘i, in the district of Puna, and about twenty miles southeast of Hilo; Kipi presides.

The Kapa‘ahu Branch, (sometimes also called Kalapana) comprises the Saints residing in the two native villages Kapa‘ahu and Kalapana, situated on the southeast coast of Hawai‘i, in the district of Puna. There is a meetinghouse (built in 1895) at Kalapana; a Sunday School organization exists, and Joseph Ha‘apai presides.

Pahala, the largest branch in the conference, comprises the Saints residing in the village and sugar plantation called Pahala, which are situated inland about five miles from the southeastern coast of Hawai‘i, in the district of Ka‘u, and five miles from the seaport town of Punalu‘u, with which it is connected by railway. There is a meetinghouse a Sunday School, a Relief Society, and a Mutual. Ika‘aka is president of the branch.

The Na‘ahelu Branch consists of the Saints residing in the native village of that name, situated inland about two miles from the coast town of Honuapo, near the southern extremity of the island of Hawai‘i, in the district of Ka‘u. Josepa Kaiakoili presides over the branch, which contains a meetinghouse, a Sunday School, a Relief Society, and a Mutual. The meetinghouse at Na‘alehu was built in 1893 and is the only church building of any kind in the place.

The Hinakukui Branch comprises the Saints residing in and about the sugar plantation of Hilea, situated about four miles inland from the southeast coast of Hawai‘i, in the district of Ka‘u. Hilea is four miles from the landing place of Honuapo; Ka‘amahawale is president of the branch.

The Pu‘u‘eo Branch comprises the few Saints residing in the villages of Pu‘u‘eo, Manuka, and Waiohinu, which are situated near Na‘alehu on the southeast coast of Hawai‘i, in the district of Ka‘u; J. W. Kahoali‘i is president of the branch.

The Papa Branch comprises the Saints residing in the native village of Papa, situated on a mountain slope and inland about four miles from the west coast of Hawai‘i in South Kona, and about four miles from the seaport town of Ho‘opuloa. Makauhaole presides over the branch, which has a meetinghouse and a Relief Society.

The Opihali Branch consists of the Saints residing in the native village of that name, situated about two and one-half miles inland from the west coast of Hawai‘i, in the district of South Kona, and about nine miles southeast of Ho‘okena. The Saints meet for worship in a private house; and the branch, which is presided over by R. W. Kalalauwale, has a Sunday School, Relief Society, and Mutual Improvement Association.

Ko‘ahe Branch comprises the Saints residing in a village of that name situated about one and one-half miles inland and six miles southeast of the coast town of Ho‘okena, on the west coast of Hawai‘i, and in the district of South Kona; it is presided over by J. W. Kaleohano.

Keokea is a native village situated about one and one-half miles inland or northeast from the coast town of Hookena, on the west coast of Hawai‘i, in the district of South Kona. The small branch of the Church here owns a meetinghouse with rock walls and thatched roof. There is also a Sunday School, and Kalele presides over the branch.

The Kahalu‘u Branch comprises the Saints residing in the native village of that name, situated on the western coast of the island of Hawai‘i, in the district of South Kona, and near the town of Napoopoo; Palikapu presides over the branch.

The South Hawaiian Conference is the farthest away from the mission headquarters of all the conferences in the mission.

“Jenson’s Travels,” June 22, 1895 [19]

Honolulu, O‘ahu, Hawaiian Islands

Tuesday, June 18. We arose early at the Volcano House, ate a lunch and started on foot, with a guide, for the crater Halema‘uma‘u, a name given to that part of Kilauea where the molten lava used to be. Descending a steep hill we reach the black lava bed on the bottom of the crater, about 500 feet below the hotel grounds. Thence we walked over the rugged, broken, and craggy lava beds for about three miles when we find ourselves standing upon the brink of the terrible abyss, from which sulphur vapor constantly arises, but where no molten lava has been seen for several months. In July 1894, the molten lake which has been described by so many tourists suddenly sank 270 feet, and in December following it sank clear out of sight; but the indications are at present that it may reappear at any time, either in the former pit, or break out at some other point in the immense crater which is about nine miles in circumference. The pit is now about 1,400 feet in diameter, and estimated to be 500 feet deep. From the numerous crags adjacent to the pit, hot sulphur smoke and gases issue forth. In some places this was so hot that pieces of wood which our guide had brought with him for the purpose immediately caught fire on being stuck into the cracks. The sights were awe inspiring indeed, and though we regretted very much that we had not the opportunity of witnessing the volcano in its former terrible state of activity, we were well satisfied with our visit. Our guide informed us that though many visitors had experienced hair-breadth escapes, none had ever lost their lives in or around the volcano. In looking around for hair breadth escapes, in order to have something to boast of when getting old, we conceived of the idea of walking out to the closest, possible proximity of the brink of the terrible pit and look down into the sulphur vapor. We did so, and in less than two minutes afterwards the rock on which we stood crashed down with fearful rapidity into the very bowels of the earth. This is no exaggeration; for I threw the rock down myself. However, the visit to the volcano is not made without danger, even to those who are most careful. The perpendicular, and in some instances overhanging, volcanic walls keep cracking off and tumbling down all the time, and on this account the danger in approaching the pit now is perhaps greater than at the time when it was filled with lava. In order to convey a correct idea to the reader, I will simply remark that the crater of Kilanea is a sunken pit, about three miles in length and breadth, and looks in the daytime like a vast deposit of black pitch in the process of cooling, with smoke or steam rising here and there. The pit is surrounded by almost perpendicular walls varying in height from two to five hundred feet. In the southern part of this large crater is what was, until quite recently, the active lake of Halema‘uma‘u, enclosed by broken wall, somewhat similar to the larger pit. Though the floor of the large crater at the north end is about 500 feet below the hotel, the top of the walls inclosing the pit or former lake are only about 250 feet below the hotel grounds. The hotel stands near the edge of the northern cliff, about three and one-half miles from the pit.

Though the distance from Hilo to the Volcano House is thirty-one miles, the crater is only twelve miles inland from the south coast of Hawai‘i, but it cannot be approached as easily from that side as from Hilo, the roads not being so good.

Having finished a hurried sightseeing at and around the volcano, and learned some additional facts from the hotel proprietor, Mr. Lee, we started on our return trip at 12:20 p.m. and arrived at Mr. West’s house in Hilo at 7:15 p.m. It rained again today, which in fact is an almost everyday occurrence on the Hilo side of the island.

Wednesday, June 19. Brother Noall and myself took another walk through the town of Hilo looking for a suitable meetinghouse site; we also visited the beautiful Rainbow Falls one and one-half miles above the town, and the lava masses, which came down from Mauna Loa in 1881, a short distance back of Mr. West’s house. In order to reach them, we had to pass through a strip of woods. We finished the days work by getting historical data and writing letters.

Thursday, June 20. Elder Noall bought a quarter of an acre of land for a meetinghouse for $250, paying $10 down to bind the bargain. The land has a fine central location. (Photo of Kukuau chapel) At 5:30 p.m. we boarded the streamer Kinau, after taking an affectionate leave of Mr. West and several other native friends who came down to the wharf to see us off. The evening was again windy, in consequence of which sea sickness among some of the passengers once more asserted itself. We sailed from the Hilo Bay at 6:30 p.m. and spent the night sailing along the coast of Hawai‘i, the darkness again preventing us from seeing the beautiful coast scenery.

Kukaua chapel. Hilo. Courtesy of Church History Library. 

Friday, June 21. Daylight found us at Mahukona, where the ship stopped to take in freight; the next stopping place was Kawaihae, there the course was changed in a northwesterly direction towards Maui, and across the stormy channel. In rounding the southernmost point of Maui, where the ugly masses of black lava rock from a prehistoric eruption of Mount Haleakala greets the eye, six islands are in sight at the same time, namely, Hawai‘i, Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, Kaho‘olawe, and Molokini. We lay at anchor off Makena from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., taking onboard a large quantity of potatoes, a number of pigs, and a horse; the latter was tied after a boat and swam out to the ship, a distance of several hundred yards. The shipping of the pigs afforded a great deal of amusement to the passengers; but the native sailors were clever and handy even in handling pigs. I had watched them often before, handling freight and manning their boats and could not help admiring them while at work. They seemed so good humored about it even when having unpleasant labor to perform, and everyone seemed to know just how to take hold and work to the best advantage. The captain of the Kinau, Mr. Clarke, is a fine gentleman and an old experienced sailor; he seemed to be liked by all the ship’s officers, crew, and passengers. But the most important individual onboard was Mr. Beckwith, the purser. His father being an Englishman, perhaps a knight or baron, and his mother a native woman, perhaps a distant relative of the dethroned queen, he certainly has reasons to think himself great, which indeed all his movements, the tone of his voice, and the corpulence of his body abundantly testify. He is a man once to see, always to remember. I shall always wonder why President Dole did not choose him for prime minister of the Hawaiian Republic. But then he may get there yet. Certainly every passenger, who ever travels with Mr. Beckwith on the Kinau will vote either for or against him, as he never fails to make an impression either by his look, tone of voice, or otherwise.

After leaving Makena, the ship next stopped at Ma‘alaea, and at 4:00 p.m. at Lahaina, where I landed for a few minutes so that I might truthfully say that I have visited the old historic town. Lahaina was once a place of importance containing perhaps 2,000 inhabitants; now there are scarcely that many hundred people. In going to the shore in a boat, I thought of Apostle Lorenzo Snow’s narrow escape from drowning at this place in 1864; also of President George Q. Cannon’s experience here in 1851, and other elders who labored on Maui at the time that Lahaina was the chief town of the island. At 5:00 p.m. anchor was weighed for the last time on this voyage and the steamer steered direct for Honolulu, where we arrived about midnight. Since we took our departure from that city on the 12th inst., we had traveled 566 miles, of which 465 miles was by steamer. The distance from Honolulu to Hilo, Hawai‘i, direct is only 192 miles, but the way we traveled it is considerably further.

In connection with our trip to Maui and Hawai‘i, I desire to express my appreciation of the kindness of Mr. C. L. Wight, president of Wilder’s Steamship Company, who gave us half rates, and also Mr. Lee, the proprietor of the Volcano House, who treated us kindly. While Wilder’s Steamship Company are treating our elders with due courtesy and give them special rates the same as the members of other denominations, the Inter-Island Steam Navigation Company insults our elders, if they apply for reduced rates; and especially is this the case with Mr. W. B. Godfrey, the president of the company, who seems to be a denounced enemy of anything that pertains to true Christianity.

“Jenson’s Travels,” July 9, 1895 [20]

La‘ie, Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

Saturday, June 22. I spent part of the day at the Honolulu library perusing files of old papers. A monthly journal entitled “The Friend,” “devoted to temperance, seamen, marine and general intelligence,” and commenced in the early forties, proved to be of special benefit to me in looking for certain dates which I needed for history. In a number of that paper (issued at Honolulu) dated July 1, 1846, the editor devotes considerable space to an article on the Mormons, occasioned by the arrival at Honolulu of the ship Brooklyn, which, as the reader will perhaps remember, sailed from New York February 4, 1846, with 235 Saints onboard, bound for California by way of Cape Horn. The company was well supplied with implements of husbandry and necessary tools for establishing a new settlement. They also brought with them a printing press and materials which afterwards were used in publishing the first newspaper issued in California. “The Friend” announces the arrival at Honolulu of the American ship Brooklyn. Captain Richardson on June 20, 1846, 136 days from New York. The same paper contains a six-column editorial on the history and doctrines of the Latter-day Saints, the Book of Mormon, etc., in which the editor aims to be fair and impartial, having obtained his information from one of the passengers of the Brooklyn. He winds up by saying: “Before closing our remarks, we feel ourselves in duty bound to give publicity to the testimony of Captain Richardson, master of the Brooklyn, in regard to the general character of the emigrants, as it has been developed during a long voyage round Cape Horn. Of their general behavior and character, he speaks in the most favorable manner. They have lived in peace together and uniformly appeared to be quiet and orderly. They are going with the full determination of making a settlement, and have brought plows, carts, scythes, and all kinds of husbandry implements and tools for ship and house building. Many of the emigrants coming from New England and the middle states are inclined to transplant some of the noble institutions of their native regions. Captain Richardson informs us that during most of the passage they have maintained orderly and well-conducted daily religious exercises, which still continue while lying in port. During the passage of the Brooklyn, there have occurred ten deaths, four adults and six children, and two births. A male child born before doubling the Cape was called ‘Atlantic’ and a female child born this side is called ‘Pacific.’

“This numerous company of emigrants are soon to leave for their new home; may it prove more peaceful than the one they have left. So far as their minds may have been led to embrace error, may it be renounced. That we differ upon many essential points of doctrine and practice is clearly manifest, yet our best wishes and prayers go with them. May the fostering smiles of a kind and benignant providence rest upon them. They are to lay the foundation of society, and institutions, social and religious. O, may they be such that coming generations shall rise up and call them blessed.” Then follows a list of deaths onboard the ship Brooklyn and a list of her passengers. The death list reads as follows:

“February 14, 1846, the infant of Joseph Nichols died with the diarrhea after about two weeks’ illness, aged 2 years and 18 days, and was buried the same day at 11:00 a.m., in latitude 37˚ N longitude 50˚ W.

Friday, February 20, 6 p.m., Mr. Elias Ensign died after an illness of about three weeks, aged 59 years and 5 months. His body was consigned to the deep the next day at 11:00 a.m. in latitude 19˚30΄ N, longitude 26˚ W.

Saturday, February 28, the son of John R. Robbins died at 10:00 p.m., with the scarlet fever, after an illness of three days, aged 5 years and 18 days. He was buried in latitude 3˚16΄ N, longitude 25˚ W.

March 6, the son of John Fowler died with the diarrhea, aged 1 year 7 months and 28 days.

March 7, 6:00 a.m., Miss Eliza Ensign died of the consumption, aged 20 years 8 months and 17 days. She had been confined to her bed about two weeks previous to her death. Latitude 3˚ S, longitude 27˚ W.

Saturday, March 14, 10:00 a.m., the son of John R. Robbins died of the consumption, aged 1 year 5 months and 16 days. Latitude 15˚30΄ S, longitude 32˚ W.

Tuesday, March 17, 10:00 p.m., the son of Charles C. Burr died of diarrhea, aged 1 year and 5 months.

Friday, March 26, Edward Miles, one of the ship’s crew died with cramps in the stomach after eight days sickness.

Saturday, March 27, 2:00 a.m., the daughter of George K. Winner died of the cankered sore throat, aged 6 months and 7 days.

Wednesday, April 1, 2:00 p.m., Silas Aldrich died of dropsy in the stomach, aged 43 years 8 months and 20 days, and was consigned to the deep at 10:00 a.m., the next day in latitude 43˚ S, longitude 47˚ W.

Wednesday, May 6, Mrs. Laura Goodwin, wife of Isaac Goodwin, died aged 32 years 11 months and 23 days. Her death was occasioned by a fall, which she received soon after the ship left New York. She left seven children. Her remains were buried on the island of Juan Fernandez.” [21]

The Brooklyn sailed from Honolulu June 30, bound for California.

The following is an extract from a letter written to “The Friend” from California under date of February 6, 1847:

“The town of Yerba Buena, situated in the bay of San Francisco, in all probability will be the principal seat of business in California, as the majority of the mercantile gentlemen on the coast have located themselves at that place. * * * Owing to the number of families who have lately come into Yerba Buena, some have been obliged to occupy sheds that were formerly henroosts for the Californians. The majority of the residents are Mormons who, I am happy to say, seem to be a most industrious people. * * * The Californians mostly reside on the opposite side of the bay on their ranches, but frequently come to Yerba Buena, bringing potatoes, onions, butter, and such other articles as they have for trade.”

I wonder if the fact is generally known that the Mormons at one time constituted the majority of the whole population on that particular part of the continent where the great city of San Francisco now stands. The “Mormons” referred to in the letter were those who had arrived in California in the ship Brooklyn.”

Sunday, June 23. We attended Sunday School in the Honolulu meetinghouse from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., then general meeting from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., next Mutual Improvement Association meeting and a special meeting from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. The last meeting was called on account of my presence. I spoke in all the meetings, through Brother Noall as interpreter. The natives seemed to be highly pleased with what was said, especially in the last meeting, where we gave them some interesting items of Church history. During the day we also obtained some valuable historical information from several old native members; but they are as a rule unable to give correct dates.

Monday, June 24. After attending to some business in connection with President Noall, we (Brother Noall, wife and child, and myself) left Honolulu at 1:30 p.m. for La‘ie, where we arrived at 10:30 p.m. We were all much pleased to get back to our missionary home and enjoy a splendid night’s rest.

Tuesday, June 25. I resumed my historical labors at La’ie and continued them diligently during the remainder of the week, assisted by President Noall, Elder George H. Fisher, Sister Noall, John “Brown,” and others. On the Tuesday we celebrated the tenth anniversary of the wedding of Brother and Sister Noall; they were married in the Logan Temple June 25, 1885. A dinner was given at Lanihuli in their honor; tinware was presented them according to ancient custom, and appropriate written congratulations presented them. The best of feelings were manifested, and the occasion was enjoyed by all. On the Saturday (the 29th), nearly all the male population of Lanihuli took a swim in the ocean. This was my first bath in the Pacific. By wading out as far as possible and then watch for a big wave, a person could cast himself on its top or immediately before it and be carried almost onto the dry beach sand.

Sunday, June 26. I attended Sunday School and general meeting at La‘ie, speaking in both through Brother Noall as interpreter. I also attended the afternoon meeting, at which four native sisters bore testimony. In the evening the usual missionary meeting was held at Lanihuli, at which Elders George H. Fisher, George H. Birdno, Walter Scholes, Matthew Noall, and myself were the speakers. I spent the week culling notes for history, assisted by Elder George H. Fisher and others. On Wednesday, July 3, I attended the closing exercises of the La‘ie Day School conducted by Brother Melvin M. Harmon and Sister Laura L. Fisher. A very large number of recitations were given, interspersed with a few songs. Nearly all the scholars said something in their broken English, speaking from a platform made of two tables which were placed in front of the pulpit. After the exercises a native feast prepared for the occasion was partaken of in front of the schoolhouse, or old mission house. We all participated, the whites sitting on the porch and the natives on mats spread on the ground below and under a temporary bowery built the same day. After the feast Elder Noall and myself interviewed several of the natives for historical information. The “glorious fourth” which is a holiday here as well as in America, was observed at La‘ie by some of the Saints going to Kahuku to witness the horse racing. Toward evening some of the missionary brethren and sisters, myself included, took a ride to the west coast of the island beyond Kahuku, eight miles distant, visiting several points of interest on the way. Among these I might mention several caves in the earth filled with water, with which old legends and fancy tales are connected. One of these is the famous water hole situated about a mile north of the mission house in which a certain woman, fleeing from the warriors of Kamehameha is said to have dived and disappeared. The soldiers watched in vain for her reappearance on the surface, and thinking her drowned, they bathed at their leisure and while doing so talked freely of their plans. The woman, meanwhile hidden in a cave, the entrance of which was below the surface of the water, listened to their talk, and, after they had left, came out of her hiding place, and making her way to the mountains where her friends, the braves of Oahu, were concealed, revealed to them the plans and purposes of the enemy.[22] Just before we started out on our little holiday ride Elder Melvin M. Harmon left La‘ie on a short mission to the island of Hawaii. On Saturday the 6th, I attended the anniversary meeting of the Relief Society; a number of visitors were present from Honolulu and Kahana. Good little speeches were made and warm greetings were exchanged. I also spoke a few minutes, Elder Noall interpreting. After the services, which were held in the meetinghouse, we all marched across the green to the Relief Society hall, where another native feast was prepared for all. The whites and native visitors ate on the upper floor and the others on the lower story. A beef had been killed for the occasion; that and some pig, and the never-failing poi and some fish, constituted the principal bill of fare, besides some watermelon, and cakes made by the white sisters.

Sunday, July 7. I attended the usual number of meetings at La‘ie, speaking in the general meeting a short time, Elder Noall interpreting. I also blessed a male child which was named Wiliama Imi Na‘anao; and by special request I blessed three of the Honolulu sisters.

Monday, July 8. I finished my historical labors at La‘ie, intending to leave tomorrow. During the day I accompanied some of the brethren to Goat Island, situated a short distance out from the La‘ie coast. A number of the natives were also there including the Honolulu visitors, who were busy gathering fish, which some of them ate raw in several instances. I saw one of the sisters eat a little fish while it was yet alive; at least it was alive and kicking after she had put it in her mouth to eat it. At noon I found myself and missionary associates partaking of a special dinner which had been prepared in honor of the historian who expected to leave La‘ie for good the next day. Appropriate sentences and good wishes were presented him, in writing by each of the missionaries present. In the evening, after prayer, I delivered my parting address to my missionary companions at Lanihuli, to whom I had become much attached during my short but pleasant sojourn among them. I have yet a visit to make to the island of Kaua‘i, and some historical work to do in Honolulu, after which I am bound for Samoa.      

“Jenson’s Travels,” July 13, 1895 [23]

Koloa, Kaua‘i, Hawaiian Islands

Tuesday, July 9. We arose early, and at 5:30 a.m. Elder Matthew Noall, wife and child, a native sister (Keluapalana), and myself left La‘ie for Honolulu, where we arrived at 2:00 p.m. Three hours later, Sister Noall and baby, the native sister, and myself boarded the steamer Mikahala and sailed for the island of Kaua‘i at 5:30 p.m. This is a vessel belonging to the Inter-Ocean Steam Navigation Company. I tried to obtain reduced rates on the ground of being a minister of the gospel; but no “Mormon” need apply for favors from that company with the expectation of receiving them.

Wednesday, July 10. After a pleasant voyage of eleven hours, we arrived at Nawiliwili, on the east coast of Kaua‘i (98 miles from Honolulu) at 4:00 a.m. in the morning. After landing we met Elder John R. Jolley of Franklin, Idaho, and Charles L. Rooks of Salt Lake City, Utah, who are laboring as missionaries on the island of Kaua‘i the present term. They brought two extra horses and a cart for our use, and we were soon on our way traveling in a northerly direction. After passing through the villages of Lihue, Kapaia, Hanama‘ulu, and Kapa‘a, we arrived at Kealia (about eleven miles from Nawiliwili), where we were made welcome in the house of Elder James W. Bush, a half-caste who has performed a number of missions on the islands. There is a small branch of the Church at Kealia, and a number of the Saints were hurriedly called together with whom we held a meeting in their little meetinghouse. Sister Noall spoke and also acted as interpreter for me. It was after dark when we returned to Brother Bush’s house, where we slept comfortably during the night.

Thursday, July 11. Elder Rooks started early in the morning for Koloa, about twenty-two miles away to give out another appointment for the evening, while Sister Noall, Elder Jolley, and I spent the forenoon at Kealia and held a meeting with the Relief Society. Leaving our native sister companion to labor among the Saints for a day or two, afterwards to join us again, Elder Jolley, Sister Noall, and myself took leave of Brother Bush and wife, Elder John Smith (half-caste) who lives with Brother Bush, and a number of other native Saints, and traveled to Koloa where we arrived at 6:30 p.m., and were kindly received by Elder Ekeka, the president of the Koloa Branch, who did all in his power to make us comfortable. We held a good meeting in the evening; it was well attended by both Saints and strangers. Sister Noall did very well as interpreter for me, and then addressed the meeting herself in an interesting manner. The singing, which was partly done by nonmembers, was good. After the meeting, a glee club commenced to sing in our honor, as we were informed, and then led the way to Brother Ekeka’s house, where they continued their singing until a late hour. The propriety of some of the songs might well be questioned, but we were assured they were all intended for good; so we thanked them for the honor they showed us and retired for the night.

Friday, July 12. Leaving Sister Noall and Elder Rooks to hold a Relief Society meeting at Koloa, and obtain historical information about the branch, Elder Jolley and I started out to visit some branches further on, traveling in the cart. After passing through the villages of Wahiawa, Hanapepe, and Waimea, we arrived at the house of James B. Kohui, president of the Makaweli Branch, sixteen miles from Koloa, and two miles up the river from Waimea. Here we spent several hours getting historical information, and then returned the way we came, stopping an hour at the house of Palama, president of the Wahiawa Branch, who, together with a young couple who also awaited our arrival at his house, were very pleased to see us, and appeared to be full-hearted Saints. It was 11:00 at night when we returned to Koloa, having traveled thirty-two miles during the day. On our arrival, our good and faithful Ekeka sat up waiting for us with a good supper, which we relished, after our long and dusty ride. On our road in Waimea today we obtained a good view of the island of Ni‘ihau, lying west of Kaua‘i, and also the two small adjacent islands, Ka‘ula and Lehua. Thus I have seen every island of the Hawaiian group and have been on the four principal ones. At Waimea, which is one of the largest and most important towns in Kaua‘i, I met a number of Norwegians, with whom I had interesting conversations. This place is also distinguished in the ancient traditions of Kaua‘i, and is famous as the place where Captain Cook, the discoverer of the Hawaiian Islands, first anchored in 1778 and made the acquaintance of the natives, who called his ship a moku (“island”). At the mouth of the river are the ruins of a stone fort built for King Kaumuali‘i in 1815 by the Russians. The final battle that established the rule of the Kamehamehas on Kaua‘i was fought over the walls of this fort in 1824. Waimea is situated in a deep and narrow valley abounding with tropical trees, and winding in and out through the trees runs the silvery Waimea River, which is very broad at its mouth and is spanned by a fine bridge. The valley extends many miles inland. It was also at Waimea where President George Q. Cannon spent several months when revi[s?]ing his translation of the Book of Mormon.

The Kaua‘i Conference embraces all the Saints residing on the islands of Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau, and consists of seventeen branches, with a total membership of 681, or 783 souls when the children under eight are added. (Map of Kaua‘i branches) Of the members, 49 are elders, 18 priests, 20 teachers, 13 deacons, and 581 lay members (265 males and 316 females). In five of the branches there are meetinghouses, Sunday Schools, and Relief Societies, and in two, Mutual Improvement Associations. Elder John R. Jolley presides over the conference with Elder Charles L. Rooks as his assistant.

The island of Kaua‘i is the most northerly and westerly island of the Hawaiian group. Its area is 590 square miles; length, 25 miles; breadth, 22 miles; population, 11,859. The central part is occupied by the large mountain mass of Wai‘ale‘ale, the lower parts of which slope gently towards the sea, affording fine rolling uplands and table lands. The island is well wooded, though much of the lower forest has been destroyed by cattle and fire. Kaua‘i is well watered, the streams of Hanalei, Wailua, and Waimea being among the largest on the Hawaiian Islands. The northwestern part of the island called Na Pali is very precipitous and forms a line of lofty cliffs seven miles in length which can only be reached on foot by a narrow path over the mountains or when the weather is favorable by sea. The soil of Kaua‘i is very fertile and the luxuriant vegetation has obtained for it the name of the Garden Island.

Ni‘ihau lies southwest of Kaua‘i. The area of this island is 97 square miles; length, 20 miles; breadth, 7 miles. Two-thirds of Ni‘ihau consists of a low plain composed of an uplifted coral reef and matters washed down from the mountains. The hilly portion is destitute of cones, craters, peaks, and ridges. The principal industry on Ni‘ihau is the raising of sheep, of which there are about 30,000. The island is celebrated for its small white shells, which are strung together for necklaces. The mats manufactured there are of extremely fine textures. There is only one foreign family resident on Ni‘ihau. The manners of the natives on this island, and their style of life, are said to be more primitive than on any other island of the group.

Branches in Kaua'i described by Andrew Jenson during his tour of 1895.

The names of the seventeen branches of the Church which constitute the Kaua‘i Conference are as follows: Kekaha with a membership of 39, including children; Waimea-uka, 11; Makaweli-uka, 16; Makaweli, 73; Hanapepe-uka, 36; Wahiawa, 49; Koloa, 87; Hule‘ia, 47; Lihue, 113; Kapaia, 79; Kealia, 78; Kapaa, 14; Kailihiwai, 62; Hanalei-uka, 20; Waioli, 33; Wainiha, 15; Ha‘ena, 16.

The Kekaha Branch consists of the Saints residing at the sugar plantation of that name also a few families living at Mana about eight miles further to the northwest, and eight members on the island of Ni‘ihau. Kekaha is situated on the main road and near the coast, about four miles northwest of the town of Waimea. Mona is celebrated for a curious phenomenon known as the barking sands. A long line of low sandhills is thrown up along the beach, and as the travelers walk over the mounds, or strike the sand, a growling, barking sound is produced. This sound seems to be a property of the peculiar sand itself, for it can be heard in a sample taken to a foreign country, provided the sand is kept perfectly dry. When the grains are examined by the microscope, they are found to contain cavities, and it is supposed that the minute hollows are the cause of the resonance, for when the sand is wet the sound is never heard.

The Waimea-uka Branch consists of the Saints residing along the Waimea River, about four miles inland from the town of Waimea; it is presided over by Kahiwa.

The Makaweli Branch embraces the Saints residing at and near a native village of that name situated on the Makaweli River, immediately above the junction of that stream and the Waimea River and about two miles inland from the town of Waimea. The branch has a lumber meetinghouse, 24x18 feet, which stands at the foot of a hill in the full embrace of a genuine cactus grove, with rice fields on the lower side. The branch has also a Sunday School, Relief Society, and a Mutual Improvement Association.

Makaweli-uka comprises the Saints residing on the Makaweli River about two miles above Makaweli proper. Kauhane is the president.

Hanapepe-uka (or Upper Hanapape) is a branch of the Church comprising the Saints residing on the Hanapepe River about three miles inland from the south coast of Kaua‘i, in the district of Koloa.

The Wahiawa Branch (formerly known as Hanapepe) consists of the Saints residing in the villages of Wahiawa and Hanapepe and the sugar plantation of ‘Ele‘ele. The village of Wahiawa—the place where the president of the branch, Palama, resides, and where the meetings are held—is situated on the main road leading from Koloa to Waimea, being about six miles west of Koloa.

The Koloa Branch, one of the largest branches in the Kaua‘i Conference, consists of the Saints residing in the town of Koloa, which is situated about two miles inland from the south coast of Kaua‘i, about eleven miles southwest of Lihue. In the membership of this branch is included a number of natives imported from the Gilbert Islands to work on the Koloa sugar plantation. They were baptized by President Ekeka a few years ago, and they are undoubtedly the first natives who have embraced the fulness of the gospel from that group. The Koloa Branch has a good lumber meetinghouse, a Sunday School, a Relief Society, and a Mutual Improvement Association.

The Hule‘ia Branch consists of Saints living along a small stream and at the foot of that mountain chain which separates the district of Koloa from Lihue. Hule‘ia is about three miles inland and southwest from Nawiliwili Bay and about the same distance from Lihue. The branch has a neat little lumber meetinghouse, 24x14 feet, built in January and February 1894, and dedicated February 25, 1894. There is also a Sunday School and a Relief Society; Kamikanihia presides over the branch.

The Lihue Branch consists of the Saints residing in Lihue, which is the principle town and place of business on the island of Kaua‘i. This branch is an outgrowth of the neighboring branch of Kapaia and was organized March 4, 1894, by Elder Albert J. Davis and George H. Fisher with Wiliama Kamahiai as president. The branch has also a Relief Society.

Kapaia Branch another of the principal branches on Kaua‘i, consists of the Saints residing in the town of that name which is situated in a deep and narrow valley nearly midway between the two large sugar mills of Lihue and Hanama‘ulu—about two miles inland from the east coast of Kaua‘i. The branch, which at present has Pai‘aina for president, has a meetinghouse and Sunday School. Near this place are the noted Wailua Falls. There are two of them. The lower falls are three miles from the mouth of the river (Wailua). They are about 80 feet high, and when the river is full of water, they present a magnificent sight. The upper falls, on another branch of the river, and four and a half miles inland, are not so high but are very picturesque.

The Kealia Branch comprises the Saints residing in a scattered settlement of that name situated in the district of Kawaihau and about two miles inland from the landing place Kapa‘a, on the east coast of Kaua‘i. The branch is presided over by Joseph W. Keli‘inui, whose hospitable house is one of the best homes the elders have at present on the island. A meetinghouse, Sunday School, Relief Society, and Mutual Improvement Association also exist.

Kapa‘a Branch embraces the few Saints residing in an obscure locality about two miles inland from the Anahola Bay, on the northeast coast of Kaua‘i, in the district of Kawaihau.

The Kalihiwai (also called Hanalei) Branch consists of the Saints residing in the native villages of Kalihiwai and Kalihikai, situated on the northeast coast of Kaua‘i and some five or six miles east of Hanalei Bay, in the district of Hanalei. The meetings are held at a place called Hanapai situated about midway between the two villages named. Apela is president.

Hanalei-uka is a small branch of the Church consisting of Saints residing along the Hanalei River, about three miles inland from Hanalei Bay, on the north coast of Kaua‘i, in the district of Hanalei.

Waioli, or Waipa, is a branch consisting of the Saints living in a scattered condition near the mouth of the Hanalei River on the north coast of Kaua‘i and in the district of Hanalei, about five miles east of the Ha‘ena Point. Kahelepu presides.

Wainiha Branch consists of the Saints living in a somewhat scattered village of that name situated in a little valley on the north coast of Kaua‘i, in the district of Hanalei. The village is about four miles southeast of Ha‘ena Point.

Ha‘ena Branch consists of a few Saints residing on the northern extremity of the island of Kaua‘i and about nine miles west on the Hanalei Valley. Auka Pokana presides. The cliffs near Ha‘ena are very high and contain a number of interesting caves, three of which are much noted and visited by many tourists.

“Jenson’s Travels,” July 18, 1895 [24]

Honolulu, O‘ahu, Hawaiian Islands

Saturday, July 13. After eating an early breakfast and taking an affectionate leave of our warm-hearted friends at Koloa, we traveled about eight miles to Hule‘ia, where we held a meeting from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Sister Noall and myself were the speakers; a number of strangers were also present. After the meeting a meal consisting of poi and chicken was prepared for us in the meeting. As no spoons, knives, or forks were provided, and we happened to carry none of these articles with us, the question naturally arose: How are we to eat the poi? Should we dive into the calabashes with our fingers like the natives? It seemed to be that, or no poi; and Sister Noall, who has spent seven years on the islands, actually commenced to dip out the poi in true native style for the first time in her long Hawaiian experience. I was about to follow her example when the idea of using the thigh bone of a chicken for a spoon struck me. “Guldregn,” happy thought! The bone process worked well; so we all ate poi with a chicken bone each, excepting Elder Rooks, who insisted that his long fingers answered the purpose just as well, and it seemed to please the natives to witness him copying their style verbatim. The food tasted good, especially the chickens, which were well cooked. After we were through eating, the natives consumed what was left, and got away with the poi fast enough without spoons, or chicken bones either.

Among the members of the Hule‘ia Branch there are some intelligent people. One woman, the wife of the president of the branch, had features which reminded me of Sister Bathsheba W. Smith of the Seventeenth Ward, Salt Lake City; and when I told her so, she seemed to be exceedingly well pleased, especially since she had seen Sister Smith’s portrait in a little book which Sister Elizabeth D. Noall has published recently in the Hawaiian language in the interest of the Relief Societies on the islands.

After obtaining what historical information we could in regard to the Hule‘ia Branch and its auxiliary organizations, we “mounted” our cart and horses and said goodbye and “aloha nui” to our native friends, who were particularly fond of Sister Noall, whom they decorated with all sorts of wreaths and flowers. Some of them said that she was the first lady missionary they had ever seen. It was her first visit to Kaua‘i. A three-mile ride brought us to Nawiliwili, where I gave Elder Jolley such instructions as seemed necessary in regard to record making and “date hunting.” At 5:00 p.m. we said goodbye to Elders Jolley and Rooks, boarded the steamer Mikahala, and sailed for Honolulu at 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, July 14. Having spent the night on the steamer, which proceeded on her way while we slept or played seasick, we arrived at Honolulu at 4:00 a.m. We hired a cab and went directly to the mission house on Punchbowl   Street, and spent the Sabbath in meetings with the Saints, Sister Noall doing efficient service for me as translator for the last time on this mission. I only spoke in the general meeting, but also attended Sunday School and Mutual Improvement Association meeting. A gentleman (half-caste) by the name of Abraham Fernandez who attended our meetings invited me out for a ride. He was formerly a government officer and served for a long time as a member of the Queen’s Privy Council, but has since the overthrow of the monarchy been a private citizen. He is examining “Mormonism” with a view to embracing it, and after introducing me to his interesting family and showing me through his elegant home, he took me out in his carriage and showed me several places of historic interest, among which King Kalakaua’s old home and the Lunalilo Home for poor natives, founded by the king of that name. [25]

Monday, July 15. Sister Noall and child started for La‘ie, accompanied by Elder George H. Birdno, who had come over the day previous to take her back to missionary headquarters. This left Elder Edwin C. Dibble and myself to “batch” it alone for a few days at Honolulu, where I expect to finish up my historical labors in connection with the Hawaiian mission. After working all day, Elder Dibble and I went downtown in the evening to spend some time in the library and listen to the government band, which was playing in front of the principal hotel in the city. The old Hawaiian Band is at present making a tour of California giving concerts in the principal towns. When the monarchy was overthrown, the old band refused to take the oath of allegiance to the new government, in consequence of which its members were dismissed from the service, and the present band was organized mostly out of foreign material; the Portuguese element seem to predominated in it, while there is only one or two Hawaiians.

Tuesday, July 16. I called upon W. B. Godfrey, president of the Inter-Island Steamship Company, this morning for the purpose of applying for a reduction of rates in behalf of our elders who have occasion to travel from island to island on the steamer run by that company. But instead of granting my request, he insulted me by calling our elders imposters who were not entitled to any courtesies whatever; and he also asserted that we were inducing the natives here to leave their homes and go to Utah, there to be ill treated and then return to their native land at the expense of the government. I denounced his statement as false and declared emphatically that our elders were not imposters but men of honor who were sacrificing the best part of their lives in the interest of the public good; that the natives who had gone to Utah had done so of their own free will and choice; and that it was contrary to the policy of the Church for any of its elders to use undue influence with members to gather to headquarters. And, furthermore, I told him that I knew from my own personal knowledge that the Hawaiians who had gone to Utah had been well taken care of and that the Church had in times past spent much means and was now spending thousands of dollars annually for their support and education. Mr. Godfrey is one of the most ungentlemanly and abusive men I ever met. His prejudices seemed to know no bounds; he was incapable of reasoning; but I compelled him to listen to my explanations, and then departed in disgust. I find that the white population in Honolulu, generally speaking, are prejudiced against us, though not to such an extent as Mr. Godfrey, and are trying to make capital stock out of the fact that a few of the natives who had immigrated to Utah, have returned to the islands because the climate did not suit them, or because they naturally longed to go back to their native land. But I have been informed by those who ought to know that even they have not complained of any ill-treatment received while in Utah. And in fact, several of those who have returned have regretted it severely already and wish they were back in Utah again. Since the change of the government, the whites on the Hawaiian Islands have become very much more pronounced and demonstrative in their deportment than they were before. It is also evident that they are not pleased with the neutral ground our elders have taken in political affairs and that while many of the natives surmise that we are in sympathy with the other whites, these do not hesitate to declare that we are on the side of the natives and opposed to the present government. It is a clear case of “you will be damned it you do, and you will be damned if you don’t.”

I spent most of the day culling historical data, while Elder Dibble trained his singing classes in the basement of the meetinghouse.

Wednesday, July 17. I labored all day culling historical information. Just at 12:00 noon Elder Dibble drew my attention to the position of the sun. Instead of being a trifle south of the zenith, we found that our shadows (though there were next to none at all, except that made by our hats and bodies in a straight downward direction) leaned the least bit to the south; hence the sun was a trifle north and not south of us, though we stood in about 21˚20˝ N latitude. By a little reflection I found that this was all right and based on natural principles learned in my schoolboy days, but which I had never had demonstrated to me in a practical manner before. This is northern summer, and the leaning of the earth toward the sun brings the sun directly overhead on June 21 at 23˚30˝ N latitude, while on December 21 it would occupy the same position at 23˚30˝ S latitude. On March 21 and September 21 it looks straight down upon the equator. Honolulu being situated nearly two degrees inside of the torrid zone or about one hundred and twenty miles south of the Tropic of Cancer; the sun for a few weeks during northern midsummer is seen north of the zenith.

“Jenson’s Travels,” July 18, 1895 [26]

Honolulu, O‘ahu, Hawaiian Islands

Thursday, July 18. Together with Elder Edwin C. Dibble I spent the day at the Honolulu library, perusing files of newspapers and other periodicals which were published at Honolulu at an early day. I was successful in finding several items of historical importance connected with our missionary labors upon the islands and particularly correct data in regard to the arrival and departure of elders, which have generally been noted in the newspapers, though not always. From the time the American elders left in 1858, and till the arrival of Apostles Ezra T. Benson and Lorenzo Snow and other elders in 1864, but little is known of the progress or status of missionary work on the Hawaiian Islands; hence I made a special effort to find if the papers contained anything about the Mormons during that period. By this means I learned that Captain Walter M. Gibson arrived at Honolulu June 30, 1861, accompanied by his daughter, and in the Pacific Commercial Advertiser of October 17, 1861, a weekly paper published at Honolulu, I found the following editorial which Elder Dibble copied in the interest of history.

Revival of Mormonism

A modern knight-errant in the field: While stopping for a day or two last week at Makawao, East Maui, rumors reached us that a grand filibustering, privateering, or some other mysterious scheme was afoot at Wailuku, which lies in full view of the opposite side of the valley some sixteen miles distant. Soon other reports came in that a secession flag was flying there; that meetings were daily held with closed doors, or rather that the building in which the meetings were held was guarded against interlopers; that persons were being enlisted for secret service, etc. These reports were hardly credible; yet hearing them reiterated we hastened over to Wailuku to learn their truth or falsity. Reaching Kahului, we found they were generally believed, and we were assured by persons who had seen it that a strange ensign, supposed to be a secession flag, had been displayed at Wailuku. This flag part of the story rather stirred up our loyal blood, and McClellan’s soldiers never longed for a shot at the rebels more than did we for a glimpse, of the supposed secession bunting. In company with J. D. Havekost, Esq., the worthy tax collector of Wailuku, we remounted our horses and spurred them up in double-quick time. On arriving in the village, we found that a Mormon meeting was in session and that no less important personage than Walter M. Gibson was presiding over it—“The Captain Gibson” whom most of our Honolulu readers will remember. In company with Mr. Charles Gray of Honolulu, we immediately proceeded to the Mormon meetinghouse, which is located a few hundred yards south of the Protestant church. As soon as our approach was observed, there was a busy stir among the natives lounging about and a general stampede for the entrance; but with the salutation “aloha,” we pushed our way through the door, which had become filled with natives, though we met with no resistance from them in our entry.

Walter Murray Gibson. Courtesy of Brigham Young University-Hawaii. 

Walking up to the table, which was at the farther end of the building, we found Captain Gibson and Mr. H. B. Eddy seated behind it, whom we accosted and took a seat beside them. This building holds perhaps 250 persons, and immediately after our entry the natives crowded in till it was densely filled, mostly with men, there being but three or four women present. On expressing our surprise to Captain Gibson at finding him here, he replied that he was equally surprised with his present position. We then asked if there was any foundation for the report that we had heard that he was a Mormon. Without directly answering the question asked, he answered that he had come here as the friend of a poor and despised class of our population, that his sympathies were with them, that this was a Mormon gathering, and that the audience consisted of delegates from the Mormon churches throughout the group, some having come from each of the islands—Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, Maui, and Hawai‘i; and we may here say that during a residence of twelve years on these islands, we have never met in any assemblage so many intelligent natives, whose appearance and faces bespoke a superiority over the masses. We were not aware there were a hundred Mormons on the group.

We stated to Captain Gibson that we were surprised that he did not, during his stay of two months in Honolulu, divulge the fact that he came here as a Mormon and not as we had supposed—simply as a traveler on his way to China and the East Indies—as he had in conversations given us to understand. He replied that he had not purposely made any concealment, that there were gentlemen in Honolulu who knew the fact, naming Mr. Bates, Mr. Damon and Mr. Wylie. We said that we did not believe that either of them or any one else knew it. He then went on to give us a chapter in his history, how in crossing the continent he arrived in Salt Lake and was there taken seriously ill; during his sickness, Brigham Young sent for him, received him into his house, nursed him, and paid him the kindest attention during his stay of six months in Utah. The result of his sojourn there was a change of views regarding the Mormons and their religion as a system of social polity, on which latter points he had much to say, and expressed his belief that no other system was so well adapted to the Hawaiians in common with other Polynesian races. We may here add that during our conversation neither Captain Gibson nor Mr. Eddy admitted that they were members of the Mormon Church, and we have since been informed by Dr. Long, United States consul at Lahaina, that Mr. Eddy distinctly denied to him that they were Mormons.

On the table was a considerable amount of silver coin, which, as we learned from the natives, was obtained by selling to them some blanks which also lay on the table and which we understand were printed at the government press in Honolulu. These blanks are filled out to constitute elders or other officers or members of the Mormon Church.

On leaving the church, Captain Gibson expressed a wish to see us again, and as we were to return in the morning by steamer to Honolulu, we promised to call at his dwelling in the evening, which we did, in company with J. D. Havekost, Esq. Arriving at the house, we found the principal room filled with natives, man and women, the latter seated on one side, and singing a Mormon song to a lively tune, which ended with a chorus. These women, of whom there were a dozen or so, were from Lana‘i and sung very well—indeed we have seldom heard better native singing.

Around the center table were seated Captain Gibson, Miss Gibson, and Mr. Eddy, who acted as secretary, by all whom we were welcomed in. The singing being ended, we stated to Captain Gibson that we had come to make inquiries and wished to ask a question which he might perhaps consider impertinent, viz., whether he was authorized by Brigham Young or the Church in Utah to come here and reorganize the Mormons. He replied that he thought we had no right to ask that question and did not answer it. We then asked if he had satisfied the natives that he had such authority. He said that if he had not done so, they would not have assembled. A long discussion then ensued regarding the merits of Mormonism, and the plans of the leaders of that church. The principal plan, which Captain Gibson warmly advocates, is the removal of the Mormons to the island of Papua, or New Guinea, which lies just north of Australia, separated from that continent by the Torres Strait. Papua contains an area of about 200,000 square miles, and from one to two hundred thousand inhabitants, of whom very little is known.

Captain Gibson stated that he had visited Lana‘i, and though he thought the missionaries who had selected that island had made a mistake in such selection, yet they intended to retain and occupy it, and he thought it could sustain a population of at least 3,000 persons; but as he hoped the sect would number at the end of two years from this at least 10,000 persons, some larger island (Moloka‘i or Maui) would perhaps be occupied. Indeed, he thought that Wailuku afforded an admirable site for such a thriving and industrious population, as the Mormons had ever proved themselves; and if we would pay a visit to the place in four months from this we should find a new church erected and a fine residence for himself, where he would be able to entertain his visitors in becoming style. So long as the Mormons were left alone and not interfered with, all would be quiet; but should the Catholics, Protestants, or any party attempt to interfere with them, they would assert their rights.

We here expressed a wish to make some inquiries, which he might deem offensive but hoped he would pardon our inquisitiveness, as rumors were afloat, the truth of which must be either admitted or contradicted. At first we desired to know whether he had come to the islands with any secession or privateering scheme in view or had sought to enlist any persons for privateering. This report he distinctly and firmly denied, and said that from whatever source it had arisen, there was no truth in it. We assured him that it was believed by some of the most intelligent persons in Honolulu and Lahaina, and if untrue should be contradicted.

We then enquired whether a secession flag had not been raised and displayed at the meeting in the valley held on the October 8. To this Captain Gibson, his daughter, and Mr. Eddy all answered together, that there was not the shadow of truth in that report, and if we wished to see the flag which was raised there they would send for it, which was done. It was a white flag, about five by three feet in size, with a double circle in the center, eight stars representing the eight islands of the group surrounding the word “ola”—“Salvation”—and the circle occupied by the initials signifying The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Hawaiian Islands.

We then asked whether there was any foundation for the report that they had surveyed the harbor of Kahului, harbors on Moloka‘i, and harbors on Lana‘i. This Captain Gibson also denied and said that the only harbor that they had taken soundings in was one on Lana‘i, for the purpose of seeing whether a small ship which they were building could enter it, but found it too shallow for that purpose. We remarked that the survey of the harbor on Lana‘i was sufficient to give rise to the report referred to. On the other hand, we are informed by persons residing at Kahului that soundings have been taken at Mr. Eddy’s instance, in the harbor and on the reef at Kahului. But this, as stated before, is denied.

We next asked whether an oath of secrecy or allegiance had not been exacted from those natives who entered the secret meetings held in the evening. This report was also denied in toto. On the other hand we were assured by a native, whose brother was admitted at the meeting, that he was only admitted after taking an oath of secrecy, which oath was exacted from every one who entered the lodge, and for that reason he refused to state what transpired at it. Among the natives it was reported that the subject of discussion was a defalcation in the funds of the Mormon Church, while others report that the Civil War in America was talked over. But there is no good ground for crediting either report. The house may have been guarded against the admission of outsiders, as the natives say was the case.

Captain Gibson stated that he had no animosity against the Protestant religion or missionaries but against the spread of the Catholic faith, or rather against the spread of the French influence at the islands, he was opposed. He believed that the French would subjugate this race if they could, and on that account he opposed them. Although his mother was a Catholic, and he was early taught to venerate that church, he himself believed in no creed or sect whatever. We took the occasion to ask whether his admiration of Brigham Young and the Mormon religion arose from the favors shown to him while in Utah or from an examination of the doctrines of Mormonism. He replied that he had not studied their doctrines or books but had become convinced that the system of social polity practiced by them was the best to be found on the globe. We concluded there was some truth in the remark made by Mr. Havekost to Captain Gibson, “You are no more a Mormon than I am.”

The doctrine of polygamy coming up, we enquired concerning its workings. So far as he had observed, it worked well. Then, we suppose, you will teach it to the natives. “Oh no,” he replied. “We shall teach nothing contrary to the laws. But where the Mormon Church is supreme as in Utah, they preach and practice it. Well, then, when all our islanders are connected, and become Mormons, and they control the government and legislature, we may expect polygamy here.” Perhaps so.

We asked whether he held out to the natives the hope generally entertained by Mormons of emigrating to some particular locality or country. He said no, though the Mormons generally embrace that as a part of their belief. He assured us most positively that he intended nothing against the existing government but that they were loyal and obedient to the laws.

We enquired the number of native Mormons now on the islands, and learned that advices from the churches reported that they were as follows:

On Kaua‘i, about 350; on O‘ahu, 800; on Moloka‘i, Maui, and Lana‘i, 1,400; on Hawai‘i, 700; making a total of 3,150.

They formerly numbered 6,000, but this is the number who now class themselves as Mormons. At the meeting on the eighth, there were several baptized, and Captain Gibson thinks that at the end of two years there will not be less than ten thousand Mormons in the group.

Our interview, having lasted over two hours, we retired, after listening to the singing of a hymn in Hawaiian, which appeared to be the words, “When I Can Read My Title Clear,” etc., sung to a revival melody, which was very well performed.

While Elder Dibble was copying the foregoing, I made an effort to secure the YMCA. hall for the purpose of delivering a historical and religious lecture on Utah and the Mormons; but the reverend in charge, a Methodist minister, after having consulted with others in relation to the propriety of granting such a request, informed me that they had decided not to let me have it. The reason assigned for this was the great prejudice existing in the minds of the people against the Mormons, on which account he thought scarcely a corporal’s guard would attend. On asking as to the cause of this extraordinary prejudice, he said, “The career of Walter M. Gibson on these islands is sufficient reason.” A long conversation ensued, but I did not get the hall; I, however, succeeded in securing the Salvation Army quarters for the delivery of my proposed lecture. In the evening we visited some native Saints.

“Jenson’s Travels,” July 25, 1895 [27]

Honolulu, O‘ahu, Hawaiian Islands

Friday, July 19. As a further reward from our searches in the Honolulu library yesterday, we found the following historical letter published as an editorial in the Pacific Commercial Advertiser of October 24, 1861.

MORE ABOUT THE MORMONS (Photo of Walter Murray Gibson)

——

Letter from Captain Walter M. Gibson.

——

We have been furnished by His Excellency R. C. Wyllie, to whom it was addressed, with the following letter from Captain Gibson, which will be read with interest at this time, as it throws some light on the doings and plans of the Mormons. It was dated,

Wailuku, October 18, 1861.

My Dear Sir:—I duly received your note of the 15th instant and hasten to present you with further information as promised.

The meeting of native Mormons held at this place, and commencing the sixth of this month, was a regular semiannual conference, such as has been regularly held on these islands, at different places during the past eleven years. During the conference just preceding this held on last April 6, about 1,200 of the Mormon faith were assembled together, and Mr. Havekost, resident of this place, informs me that as many as 3,000 Mormons have assembled together at Wailuku, and inasmuch as this occurrence did not attract any special public attention, I must attribute the particular attention awakened by this late conference to my participation in it.

In 1850, Mormon elders from Utah first came to this kingdom. They were poor young men who mostly worked their passage as sailors to get here. Some had means at home like Mr. George Q. Cannon and others well known here; but they all came without purse or scrip to preach the true gospel of Jesus Christ, as they believed. Notwithstanding their utter destitution of all external means of influence, they succeeded in baptizing a large portion of the natives, and of the most intelligent ones, to their faith. According to their records, they had baptized up to 1857 about 7,000 adults on these islands. The threatenings of war in Utah in 1857 induced every white Mormon elder to return home. The native church was left to its own guidance. The Utah elders invariably told the natives that they did not come to establish themselves here, like the missionaries, but simply to teach them what they felt to be the truth and then go their way to teach others. Of course the absence of the white teachers caused much neglect and falling off in the organization; and when I enquired concerning the Mormons, during my stay at Honolulu, I was invariably told that such a church had ceased to exist in this kingdom. One official, and generally well-informed gentleman, was positive in assuring me that not a single meeting of Mormons was now held anywhere on the Hawaiian Islands. I knew this to be incorrect, but did not suppose that there were any considerable numbers professing this faith until I came to this island. Now, I had not formed any intention of getting up any special meeting of this people; but when I was at Lahaina, numbers of the intelligent and influential natives residing at Wailuku, Kula, and other places came to Lahaina to solicit me to attend their regular conference meeting, commencing on the 6th, which I did, and took a more active part in it than I had ever contemplated. I will now present you with some portion of the information obtained during this conference and in the course of my own investigations and those of others with me.

The largest number attending this conference at any time was about 1,000, of which 800 were Mormons.

On Kaua‘i there are nine branches of the Church and 462 adult members.

On O‘ahu there are seven branches of the Church and 570 adult members.

On Maui there are eleven branches of the Church, and 1,485 adult members.

On Hawai‘i there are five branches of the Church, and about 800 adult members—but this report is not positive.

On Lana‘i there is one branch and 185 adult members.

This amounts to a total of 3,580 adults; and add to these, unbaptized minors, which designation does not include little children, the whole force of the church will amount to 4,500 persons above seven years of age. Within two months just past, about 200 have been baptized on Hawai‘i, 76 on Kaua‘i, and 46 were baptized during the holding of the conference at this place. The most of these new recruits come out of the missionary churches and eight or nine out of the Catholic Church.

I will mention a few facts in relation to the branch on Lana‘i. With the 185 adult members, there are 82 children, and all with three exceptions born on Lana‘i since the establishment of the church there in 1855. These children are the offspring of twenty-seven marriages. One native Mormon, called Pelio, has eight children by the wife now living with him; another, ‘Upai, has seven; another, Keaweamihi, has five; and so on down to a single baby; and they are all hearty, healthy children, such as are not seen elsewhere on these islands. The church has been clubbing together a little means and has hoped to buy a body of land on this island from the government or from the chief Ha‘alelea. The latter agreed to sell them the Palawai District for the moderate sum $500 in order to befriend the poor church. However, this Palawai is mostly untillable lava and consequently would not be as advantageous as might at first have been supposed from its extent. Furthermore, there is not a single stream or spring in the district, and it is with much difficulty that the people manage to get enough of drinking water. Sometimes they have brought water from Lahaina and have lugged it four miles from the beach to their homes in Palawai Valley. But with all these disadvantages they have been particularly healthy, and all the church would rejoice if they could be gathered together on Lana‘i. In that case, with a large force, or labor, I think the water could be brought profitably to irrigate the valley from a little stream near the northwestern extremity of the island—but I cannot be positive about the practicability of this undertaking. At any rate, some water for various purposes, though not very good, can be obtained by blasting out rock in the mountain. The poor Mormons get about six gallons of water from a few hollows in rocks, which are dry during the day but exude this much during the night, and this is the chief drinking supply for all this people. But they have large numbers of goats and use some milk and eat fresh goat’s meat and mutton with sweet potatoes, instead of exclusively poi and salt fish.

I design to submit a proposition to the government in relation to the settlement of a large portion of His Majesty’s Mormon subjects upon Lana‘i, after certain tests have been made for a supply of water. It is my intention to visit Lana‘i next week. I have been there once before.

Your Excellency makes some remarks relative to a supposed intention of persuading His Majesty’s subjects to immigrate to other islands of the Pacific or Indian oceans. The very reverse of this has occupied my mind. I have supposed that many thousands of Polynesians and Malaysians might be induced to emigrate to this group, and this is a matter which I know could be accomplished if it was deemed desirable. My chief exhortations to the natives have been with a view to inspire them with a hope of national life. I tell the most intelligent again and again to combat the despair that the dooming voice of the most of the foreigners would inspire them with. I am positive that in the Mormon organization there is to be met with the most of this national hope, the strongest attachment to the king, and the most ardent desire for perpetuation of a native Hawaiian dynasty. At the request of the Mormons, I furnished them with a design for a church emblem, or banner, for their festive occasions, and I gave them the simple design of eight stars in a circle, for the group, and the word ola, “life,” in the center.

 I send you a copy of the religious principles that have been substantially taught to His Majesty’s subjects, now called Mormons. This only differs from the teaching in Utah, it being deficient in the inculcation of polygamy. I do not believe that this doctrine has ever been preached to the natives of these islands. It is never taught in Europe, nor in any other country outside of Utah; and, furthermore, according to the principles of Mormonism, it never is to be taught or permitted to be practiced anywhere outside the precincts of the Zion of the Church, and there only by a certain order of the priesthood.

I shall not trespass more on your attention at this time; but I shall be ready to furnish you with any information relative to my movements and observations on these islands. I will venture to say on this occasion that no other stranger who ever entered His Majesty’s dominion could have formed a more lively regard for his person, a stronger sympathy with the maintenance of his sovereignty, or a more ardent hope for the perpetuation and prosperity of his race and dynasty. This I have felt, and this I have uttered, and I am seeking no personal advantage here. My heart is with the Oceanic races; I was born on the ocean, and I have felt a sort of brotherhood with islanders, especially with the royal Malay and his kindred who reign and live here. I can afford to be misunderstood, condemned, or despised, for I have a heart and purpose to abide my time. I care for no creeds but for humanity and love to work for those that are despised and have no friends.

My dear daughter, who is determined to share her father’s labors and wanderings, joins me in warmest regards for your person, and I am,

Yours very faithfully,

WALTER MURRAY GIBSON.

 

The letter is followed by the Articles of Faith as taken verbatim from the Times and Seasons, volume 1, page 709, the following being printed in italics:

“We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” No other comments are made.

During the day I visited the Bernice Pauahi Paki Bishop Museum, situated in that part of Honolulu known as Kapalama, or rather a suburb of Honolulu, as it is located on the grounds of the Kamehameha Schools, nearly two miles west of the center of the city. The building, a two story one, is built of grey basalt rock quarried in the neighborhood, and the interior finish is mainly in koa wood from Maui. The museum was founded in 1889 by the rich banker Charles R. Bishop in memory of his wife, Bernice, who was a Hawaiian princess and is spoken of as one of the best native women the Hawaiian Islands have ever produced. The museum contains a fine and somewhat large collection. This is by no means confined to Hawaiian curiosities and relics, but it includes collections from every group in the Pacific.

Saturday, July 20. In the course of the day, the head man of the Salvation Army came to see me at the mission house, and expressed regrets that he had agreed to let me lecture in his hall, as a certain Methodist minister, the very man who had refused me the use of the YMCA hall, had told a wicked and unwarranted falsehood, and that he (the minister) knew it; for I had had a long conversation with him and had explained to him frankly and openly what I was here for. After a long and quite interesting interview, my friend said he would leave the matter with the Lord as to whether I could speak in his hall or not. I assured him that if he would do that I would speak all right; for I felt sure that the Lord had no objection. In the meantime notices appeared in the Pacific Commercial Advertizer and the Hawaiian Star, daily papers, announcing my lecture. In the evening President Noall and family arrived from Honolulu to await the arrival of his successor who is expected with the next steamer from America, and to help me in finishing my historical labors here. [28]

Sunday, July 21. I spent the day in meeting with the Saints at Honolulu, four meetings being held including the Sunday School. Elder Noall and Sister Noall delivered their farewell sermons in the forenoon meeting, and I lectured on Church history and other matters in the afternoon, Elder Noall acting as interpreter.

Monday, July 22. The day was a very busy one for me, as I was endeavoring to finish my historical labors in the Hawaiian Mission, and prepare the notes and documents which I had made and gathered, for shipments to the Historian’s Office.

Tuesday, July 23. For some time past there has been a misunderstanding in regard to the paying of poll taxes by our elders. Though ministers of the gospel on the Hawaiian Islands are by law exempt from taxation, our elders in going from island to island have for some time past been troubled with deputy poll-tax collectors who have demanded the usual tax of $5 from each of them. Payment has always been refused, as our elders would show their missionary licenses; but in some instances the deputies would not recognize these, and this has given occasion for unpleasant arguments between elders and tax collectors. In order to have an understanding in this connection, Elder Noall and myself called on the head tax collector this morning and made satisfactory arrangements. All our elders who were continuously engaged in missionary labors and did nothing else were entitled to exemption and would be exempted on presentation of proper credentials, the nature of which were agreed upon; and the tax collector would then issue permits, which all deputies throughout the group would recognize. But the elders who were working in the La‘ie Plantation would not be exempted, as they could not be recognized as ministers of the gospel. It was apparently the “permit” part of the business which our elders has failed to comply with that had caused the trouble; at least we were so informed.

In the afternoon about sixty native Saints, the cream of the Honolulu Branch, gathered at the mission house and treated us to a splendid dinner. It was gotten up in honor of the historian, who expected to leave Honolulu the next day for the Fiji Islands. The meal was a most excellent one, the food being well cooked and served in first class style. A number of the natives sat down with us (the white people present), at the same table, while the rest ate afterwards. The feast being over, the people gathered on and around the porch of the mission house and the members of the Honolulu choir who were present commenced to entertain the company by singing some beautiful songs, two of which had been seen composed specially for the occasion—one by Sister Makanoe and the other by Elder Abraham Kehulu. Before the meal was partaken of, most of the people had decorated themselves with flowers and leis and the historian, being the special guest of the occasion, was almost literally covered with them. He regretted very much that there was not a photographer present to take his picture while his looks were thus temporarily improved by his rich and gay decoration of tropical flowers. In his full flowery uniform, he responded to the songs composed for the occasion as best he could through Sister Noall as interpreter, and took occasion to remark that he would interpret the great honor shown him on the occasion to remark that he would interpret the great honor shown him on the occasion to be an expression of their love and devotion for the cause of God of which their special visitor was a humble representative. I am frank to acknowledge that in all my travels so far, I have never met a more warm-hearted and affectionate people than the Hawaiian Saints; and I could say, “Na ke akua e ho‘opomaika‘i okou apau” (“God bless you all”) to them from the bottom of my heart.

In the evening I delivered my historical lecture in the Salvation Army hall, as announced, on the subject “Practical versus theoretical religion.” There was a good-sized audience, among which were many of the Saints. I spoke neatly an hour, during which I endeavored to show what the Latter-day Saints had done in Utah and elsewhere in the “name” of practical religion, what we had done on the Hawaiian Islands during the past forty-four years, and what our 800 missionaries who are laboring at the present time throughout the nations of the earth are doing in a practical way—and doing it all as labors of love, such a thing as a hired or paid clergy being foreign to the order of the Mormon Church. The strictest attention was paid throughout the entire lecture, and the speaker was only interrupted once, and then it was by the selfsame Methodist minister who had refused me the use of the YMCA hall, and who no doubt felt very grieved to think that his influence was not sufficient to hinder me from getting the ears of the people at the Salvation Army hall. What specially brought him to his feet was my allusion to the fact that the hall mentioned was refused to me on the alleged ground that a certain professed Mormon elder, Walter M. Gibson, had done wrong over thirty years ago; and I took the ground that such a cause for a refusal was far-fetched indeed. If that was the only thing the people of Honolulu could give us a ground for their apparent deep-seated prejudice against us, that prejudice was certainly unwarranted. Then the reverend arose to state in addition to that the fact remained that the Mormons believed in polygamy. I answered that inasmuch as we had not written the Bible we could not consistently be held responsible for its contents. But as good Christians we believed that book to be the inspired word of God, and it contained historical narratives or doctrines which some people could not believe; we could not help it. The reverend gentleman, however, had been informed already, and the speaker would now inform the congregation that he was not here to advocate or argue for or against polygamy either practically or theoretically. Then the lecture was continued to the close without further interruption. After some usual Salvation Army exercises, which seemed to fall somewhat flat upon the new congregation, Elder Edwin C. Dibble was called upon to close the meeting by prayer. I trust this lecture is simply the beginning of a new opening among the people of Honolulu. For several years no attempts have been made to preach the gospel in public in English in that city.

Wednesday, July 24. I am not awaiting the arrival of my old friend the steamship Miowera, to take me to Fiji. The Hawaiian Star contained a very good synopsis of my lecture last night.

Notes

[1] “Jenson’s Travels,” Deseret Weekly News, August 10, 1895.

[2] “Jenson’s Travels,” Deseret Weekly News, August 10, 1895.

[3] The Kingdom of Hawaii had been overthrown on January 17, 1893, by a group of U.S. businessmen who were attempting to get Hawaii annexed to the United States; it was at this time governed as the Republic of Hawaii.

[4] This was the Iosepa colony in Skull Valley, Utah, 1889–1917.

[5] “Jenson’s Travels,” Deseret Weekly News, August 24, 1895.

[6] For more information on the Church in La‘ie, see Gathering to La‘ie by Riley Moffat, Fred Woods, and Jeff Walker (Brigham Distributing, 2011).

[7] While various sources include intermittent portions of the passage Jenson included here, we have been unable to determine the exact source to which he refers.

[8] “Jenson’s Travels,” Deseret Weekly News, August 31, 1895.

[9] “Jenson’s Travels,” Deseret Weekly News, September 7, 1895.

[10] President A. H. F. Mitchell’s prohibition against growing, selling, and using ‘ava prompted some La‘ie Saints to purchase the Kahana Valley and move there in 1874 in protest; the large number of Saints in Kahana was largely the result of that action.

[11] “Jenson’s Travels,” Deseret Weekly News, September 14, 1895.

[12] “Jenson’s Travels,” Deseret Weekly News, September 21, 1895.

[13] “Jenson’s Travels,” Deseret Weekly News, September 28, 1895.

[14] This is the Pu‘ukohala Heiau built by Kamehameha I in 1790–91 to commemorate his consolidation of power on Hawaii. It is now a National Historic Site.

[15] Jenson might have been referring to the following tome: A Geography of the Hawaiian Islands: Prepared to Accompany Monteith’s Series of Geographies (A. S. Barnes, 1889).

[16] This valley has long been abandoned.

[17] This valley has long been abandoned.

[18] “Jenson’s Travels,” Deseret Weekly News, September 28, 1895.

[19] “Jenson’s Travels,” Deseret Weekly News, September 28, 1895.

[20] “Jenson’s Travels,” Deseret Evening News, September 28, 1895.

[21] “Joseph Smith, Jr., Founder of ‘Church of Latter-Day-Saints,’ (or Mormons)—Origin–Book of Mormon—History—Creed—present condition and prospective plans of the sect—California, &c., &c.,” The Friend vol. 4, 13 (Honolulu, O‘ahu, HI, July 1, 1846): 100–102.

[22] This pool, known as Waiapuka, is made famous in the legend of La‘ieikawai.

[23] “Jenson’s Travels,” Deseret Weekly News, October 12, 1895.

[24] “Jenson’s Travels,” Deseret Weekly News, October 19, 1895.

[25] Brother Fernandez joined the Church later that year, became a counselor in the mission presidency, and later baptized Queen Lili‘uokalani in 1906. His wife, Minerva Davis Fernandez, cousin to Queen Lili‘uokalani, was a longtime mission Relief Society president.

[26] “Jenson’s Travels,” Deseret Weekly News, October 26, 1895.

[27] “Jenson’s Travels,” Deseret Weekly News, October 26, 1895.

[28] Samuel Edwin Woolley arrived with his family on August 31. He served as mission president until 1919 and as La‘ie Plantation manager until 1921.