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In the very heart of the Pacific, nearly Japan, China, and the Philippine Islequidistant from the Old and the New ands. They are designated, by the World, lies a group of islands, unsur- natives, the Hawaii-nei; a term synopassed for salubrity of climate, and nymous with Hawaiian Íslands. equalled by few in fertility of soil. Of this group, we have now for the Uniting in their bosom the health-giving first time an authentic history. The breezes of a temperate clime, with the author of the volume referred to at the gorgeous splendors of tropical verdure, foot of this page, is already favorably Nature seems to have marked and known to us as the late editor and isolated them for the purpose of working publisher of the Polynesian, a weekly out there some great end, some won- journal of character and respectability, drous experiment, requiring a peculiar and an authority upon the commerce, sphere, and combining antagonistic religion, and general history of the elements; in short, a fitting battle. Pacific.f From a residence at the ground for barbarism and civilisation. Sandwich Islands during some of the Any one who has paid attention to the most eventful periods of their history, history of the Pacific Ocean, for the and from the independent position oclast fifty years, will readily understand cupied by him there between the parties that we mean the Sandwich Islands; a by whose intrigues and rivalries they group of volcanic formation, extending have been for many years agitated, Mr. from 18° 50to 229 20' N. latitude, Jarves is unquestionably entitled to and from 154° 53' to 160° 15' longitude respect for his statements of opinion, west from Greenwich, -embracing an and to confidence for his statements of area of 6100 square miles, nearly equi- facts positively within his own knowdistant from Central America, Mexico, ledge." Unconnected with the governCalifornia, and the North-West Coast, ment or with the American Missionaand also from the Russian dominions, ries, he is as reliable a witness and histo

• History of the Hawaiian or Sandwich Islands; embracing their Antiquities, Mythology, Legends, Discovery by Europeans in the Sixteenth Century, Re-discovery by Cook, with their Civil, Religious, and Political History, from the earliest Tradi. tionary Period to the Present Time. By James Jackson Jarves, Member of the American Oriental Society. Boston: Tappan & Dennett. 1843. 1 vol. 8vo. pp. 407.

| The Polynesian, Vols. I. and II, Honolulu. 1840–41.

rian, as, in a dispute between American Kahoolawe, are still designated as “the Protestantism on the one side, and, on foreign roads." the other, French Catholicism, in partial The profession of the bards, though alliance with English anti-Americanism, highly honorable, does not seem to have we could under any circumstances added much to the store of knowledge, expect to find in a zealous American and was rather confined to the exciteand vehement Protestant. If by an ment of religious enthusiasm, by wild expression thus guarded, we imply and imaginative songs and odes. Their some want of entire reliance on the historical labors were limited to lyrical impartial fidelity of the whole of our narrations of miraculous interpositions, author's narrative, we neither make to the battles of shadowy though bloodnor mean any other insinuation than he thirsty heroes, and to stirring relations is a man. For though personally our- of more than uncertain events. Their selves both American and Protestant, men become gods, and their gods as we cannot claim for even the combina- suddenly relapse into men, each seemtion of those two attributes, that un- ing perplexed, prejudiced, unerring infallibility, which both Mr. Jarves, the American Mis- “incertus scamnum, faceretne Priapum.” sionaries, and ourselves would doubtless unite in denying to that Pope, whose re- There is little doubt-indeed, nonepresentatives are alleged by him to have that the group were visited by Europebrought so much trouble and confusion, ans, probably by the Slaniards, previousreligious and political, into the before ly to the voyage of Captain Cook. That peaceful order and uniformity of doc- great navigator found the value of iron, trine prevailing in the Islands.

of which there existed no native speciWho were the ancient Hawaiians, mens, well known. On the return of the date of the first settlement of the the first visitors sent to examine Cook's group, the succession of kings, and the ships, the report of the great quantity increase of civilisation up to the time of iron seen on board the ships exciied when they first became known to Eu- the cupidity of the chiefs, and one of ropeans--are questions to which we the warriors volunteered to seize it, look in vain for solution to the records saying, “ I will go and take it, as it la or traditions of the Hawaiian Islands. my business to plunder.” He went, For an imaginative people, their tradi- and in the attempt was fired upon and tions are singularly barren and uninte- killed. Sonne fragments of iron hoop resting. It is, however, worthy of at- and of a sword-blade, in possession of tention, that, like most savage nations, the chiefs, were said to have been left they possess an account of a flood, said there by white men. Various traditions to have taken place at a remote period, remain of the visits of parties of white in which some of the inhabitants were men, either in vessels stopping at the saved by taking refuge in a canoe which Islands, or thrown on them by shiprested on the summit of Mauna-Kea, wreck. These were doubtless some the highest mountain in the Islands. of the earlier Spanish navigators of the Their origin, too, is accounted for by Pacific. As Mr. Jarves remarks, the the statement of an emigration from singularly “graceful form of the helTahiti, rendered probable by various mets, and the elegance of the feathered points of evidence, on which we need mantles, so unlike the usual rude arts not dwell. So vague and dim, how- of the islanders, bearing as they did a ever,

had become even the memory of striking resemblance in form to those this tradition, that though the name formerly worn among the Spaniards," Tahiti is still preserved in the Hawaiian together with other similar evidences language, it was applied to any foreign of a better taste and knowledge, probacountry, and to this day its actual sig- bly derived their origin from visitors of nification answers to the English term that nation. A number of Hawaiian “abroad.” A communication once ex- words also exhibit a strong analogy isted with the other various Polynesian with the Spanish. One white indivigroups, by means of much larger vessels dual who thus landed alone on one of than the canoes, alone in existence the islandsmeither the sole survivor when first visited by Captain Cook; from a shipwreck, or perhaps some and certain points of departure, as the zealous priest landing from a passing southern extremities of Hawaii and ship, in a solitary sublimity of selfdevotion, as a missionary—is thus re- nature, was the nearest approach to it. membered in tradition by the name of Superstition the most blind and besotted, Paao, as having brought with him a kept in continual and fearful operation large and a small idol, which by his by a wicked priesthood, knew no bounds persuasions were enrolled in the Ha- to its credulity. A multitude of cruel, waiian calendar of gods, and as having blood-loving, and licentious gods, and become a powerful and influential man; the universal terrors of witchcraft, enthat he was a humane one, too, would forced and retained a horrible power in appear from the tradition of his having the human sacrifices and obscene rites induced the king to spare the life of which they enjoined. Home had no one of his sons who had been ordered pleasant associations, and the natural to execution. The last of these visits love of kin had no existence. Cruelty can be referred to a period nearly a to the aged and infirm, and the more century and a half prior to Cook's arri- unnatural crime of infanticide, were so val (in 1778); a time quite sufficient, common as to pass unnoticed as the when coupled with their many bloody change of the seasons. Such friendwars and changes, to have dimmed the ship and hospitality as are practicable recollection of events, and thrown a without kindness, were not wanting. veil over the whole. “Enough has The social virtues, which flow from the been preserved,” says our author, relations of the sexes, found their only

acceptation in a frightful licentiousness “ to establish the fact that centuries since, and a promiscuous concubinage. Wovessels visited these islands, and that man had no influence, as she was more several parties landed on them, and left degraded than her master. Thievishprogeny, whose descendants are distin.

ness and drunkenness pervaded all guished even to this day, by their lighter ranks. The arbitrary tabu, issued by skin, and brown or red curly hair, called priest or chief, threw a fatal chain over ehu, and who highly esteem their origin. the common people, who, from ages of Kaikoewa, a celebrated warrior and late governor of Kauai, traced his ancestry to

oppression and slavery, degenerated one of these strangers. A party of white till they became the fit tools of their men, called Hea, are said to have roamed masters, who ruled with an unsparing wild in the mountains, occasionally mak- rigor. Their wars were cruel, and ing inroads upon the more fertile districts, cannibalism was not the most revolting much to the terror of the inhabitants, feature. In short, a brutal fear was particularly the females.”

the holiest sentiment of their religion,

and an abuse of all the bountiful gifts But this fact is, after all, of no great of the Creator afforded the only proof importance, nor does it detract one leaf of their existence as free agents. from the hard-earned laurels of Captain It is needless to recapitulate the Cook. If others made the discovery, events of Cook's visit to the Hawaiian and chose for selfish purposes to conceal Islands. They are familiar to all their knowledge, it is obvious that the of us from childhood. His tragical real merit and honor will accrue to him fate furnished the natural termiwho first disclosed his information to nat of the interesting tale. Mr. the world. Captain Cook, if not the Jarves gives a spirited description of first at the islands, is nevertheless the that unfortunate mariner's death, from first who made known their existence which we should be pleased to quote, to civilized nations, and as such, must did our limits permit. He attributes be accounted their discoverer.

that untoward event to want of judgThe situation of the Hawaiian Isl- ment,--added to a line of conduct, in ands, in 1778, at the time of the arrival relation to the savages by whom he of this celebrated navigator, must be was received as a long expected diunderstood before we can comprehend vinity, but little creditable to him, the almost miraculous changes which either as a man of humanity, or of have taken place from their intercourse good faith and just dealing. As Cook with the more civilized white man. was treated as a God by the natives, Imagination can hardly present a more and hesitated not to take advantage of degraded picture of imbruted heathen- their superstition for his own selfish ism than was there exhibited. Virtue, ends, when they discovered their misas such, was not known; indolence, take, revenge, the first impulse of a which was supposed to be akin to good savage, as well for many other wrongs

as for this deception, sought its natural imaginative language of the Hawaiians, satisfaction, on an occasion on which it “ the lonely one,” although not born to was stimulated by a particular provo- the sovereignty of the group, eventually cation of the most exasperating char- made himself, by his own superiority of acter.

character and resources, from the ruler The incorrect accounts of the cause of one island, the king of the whole. of Cook's death restricted the inter- This master-mind at once comprehendcourse of the natives of the islands ed the degradation of his race, and he with foreigners for some years. But put from him, by one effort, the whole in 1786, trade was opened by the ves- incubus of drunkenness, licentiousness, sels, King George and Queen Char- cruelty and avarice, which had become lotte, which has continued to increase the nature of the island chieftains. He steadily up to the present time. Oc- felt his own superiority to those around casional outrages, for which foreigners him, and made himself the first in power were too often themselves to blame, as he was the first in acuteness, forewere sufficient to keep up for many sight and general intelligence. What years the reputation of the Hawaiians management failed to accomplish was for cruelty and treachery.

obtained by force, until he had rendered The arrival of Vancouver in 1792 himself the undisputed master. Brave and the subsequent publication of his to rashness, and conquering his enenarrative, had the effect of producing a mies as much by policy as by strength, more just opinion of the character and he first gained victories which were not capabilities of the Hawaiians. His sullied by indiscriminate slaughter and treatment of the natives and of King outrage. The chiefs subdued by his Kamehameha, was benevolent, honest, arms were won over to the strongest and impartial, though firm and polite, adherence by his combined mercy and and it enabled him to prove that de- skilful policy, and the magnanimous use graded as were the people, in their state which he made of his victories. This of heathen brutality, they were yet sus- extraordinary character, although he ceptible of more moral and religious im- had heard of Christianity, died (1819) in provement than Cook had represented. the faith of his ancestors. His active Indeed, his whole deportment at the mind impelled him to make the inquiry islands, afforded a most marked and for- of such Europeans as were attached to cible contrast to that of the last-named his person, what was the nature and navigator, whose errors Vancouver, as a importance of the new religion ; but junior officer with him, had personally unfortunately, not one of them possessobserved and deemed necessary to ed sufficient knowledge or belief in the avoid. The visit produced a most truth of Christianity, to satisfy his agreeable effect upon the islanders, who yearnings for a more spiritual and first learned, from his example, the rational faith. We regret that the repower of morality and religion, and the striction of our limits forbid our dwelltrue policy of justice.

ing more at length on the character and It was unfortunate for their civilisa- history of this great and good old tion that the death of this estimable savage, who, on his scale and in his man prevented the fulfilment of his sphere, was undoubtedly one of the promise to return to the Islands. No most remarkable men the age has proone had as yet exercised upon them an duced. influence so thoroughly beneficial, and He was succeeded by his son, Lihono one of the numerous foreigners who liho, or, as he styled himself, Kamehavisited the Islands before 1810, is re- meha II., whose qualities were insuffimembered with so much affection and cient to retain the influence possessed gratitude. Intercourse with foreigners by his father. Surrounded by base and had alone taught them their wants and designing whites, their wicked counsels their inferiority to civilized nations; kept down for a season the progress of and among the more intelligent of the civilisation, and at one time threatened natives who first endeavored to possess a permanent return to heathenism. themselves of the various qualities Eventually his better nature and better which were recognized as necessary to counsels prevailed, and the missionaries put them on a par with the strangers, (who came to the island shortly after his was Kamehameha I., the king of the accession), were enabled to continue Islands. This great savage, in the their benevolent labors. The subse

quent history of this king and his con- taught him at least the folly of Pagansort, Kamamalu, their voyage to Eng- ism. Although some of those whites land, and the fatal termination of their who were about his train were outcasts tour in the death of both of them in from other lands, were not only debased 1824, are familiar to the public, and it and licentious, but even endeavored tol is unnecessary to record the closing impede rather than to aid any improvescenes of the reign here. His brother, ment in the character and habits of the the present king of the islands, Kaui- king, which would have rebuked their keaouli,or Kamehameha III., succeeded own more criminal viciousness, and him. The policy of this ruler has en- withdrawn him from their influence, couraged intercourse with civilised na- they could not entirely suppress the tions, has protected the Mission, and evidence of their superiority to the bids fair to place his country in some natives, as exhibited in the greater respects on a level which many Euro- amount of knowledge which they pospean nations might in vain attempt to sessed. Commerce, even with an inattain. By his direction, a constitution ferior class of whites, had smoothed the has been framed and a code of laws, path for the Mission, and the Hawaiians suited to the nature of the islands, had already a suspicion that there exestablished. Order and decorum now isted better civilized people than resided prevail among a people accustomed to among them. It is a fact not generally every scene of outrage and violence. known or believed in the religious Commerce has received an impulse world, that the success of missions has from his fostering hand, and the native always been in direct proportion to the resources of the islands have been made contemporaneous intercourse with white productive. Security of life and pro- men engaged in trade. The testimony perty have attracted a more intelligent of the whole Pacific proves this to be class of foreigners, and the prosperity true. The intercourse of the Society of the islands, if secured from external and Sandwich groups with the whites, interference, will continue steadily to and the traffic carried on previous to advance as their great advantages and since the establishment of missions become more fully recognized. Of their in these groups, has elevated them political importance we shall speak above the Samoa and Friendly isles, more fully, as it is a subject compara- where communication with other whites tively misunderstood in the United than missionaries is limited, and where States.

those benevolent individuals themselves The arrival of the American Mission- admit, that though the appearance of aries shortly after the accession of the people is flattering to their efforts, Liholiho or Kamehameha II., has been the result is still doubtful. already alluded to. They landed on The few Methodists who were settled the 3d of March, 1820-an event the upon the Fejees, have hitherto entirely most important, in the consequences of failed of success, as the barbarous which it was to be the seed, that has character of the natives has driven yet occurred in the history of the Ha- foreign commerce to less treacherous waiian archipelago. The increased shores. The Kingsmill group, though intercourse with foreigners, and the im- little known, is yet unprepared for punity with which they had broken missionary enterprise; while Ascension through the tabu, in defiance of a sup- and Rotuma are predisposed by foreign posed offended divinity, had already residents for proper religious impresshaken the faith of the more intelligent, sions. It may be gratifying to sectarian in the truth of the system in which zeal to magnify the results attained by they had been educated. Before the missionary labors, and attribute to their arrival of the Missionaries, the king efforts results little short of miraculous; Liholiho had given the death-blow to truly, the main bulk of the worthy men the old superstition, by the destruction composing the glorious little army of of the idols and by his open neglect of Christian missionaries, have labored the ceremonies which it enjoined. for their holy cause with a devotion His observation had shown him the unsurpassed in the annals of religious superiority of the whites on the islands and moral enterprise ; but it is no over their native population ; and if the reflection on their motives, and no deexample and influence of the Europeans traction from the value of their zeal, to did not lead him to Christianity, they tell the whole truth in an examination

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