A ROVING SAN FRANCISCO CORRESPONDENT IN HAWAII
A HAOLO [= BATES, George Washington]. Sandwich Island notes.
New York, Harper & Brothers, 1854. 8vo. Full-page wood-engraved frontispiece portrait of Alexander Liholiho and 21 wood-engraved illustrations (of which 9 full-page) in text. 20th-century blue half cloth, marbled boards.
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Lively and often quoted travel narrative on Hawaii at mid-century and one of the few accounts of this period that includes a visit to Molokai.
Bates arrived in Honolulu from San Francisco on January 15, 1853, in the capacity of roving correspondent for a San Francisco newspaper. He begins with a generous description of the town, its palace, public buildings, and churches, and includes observations on sights that others ignored. He made an excursion up Nuuanu, and then continued his travels around the island, stopping at and describing Kaneohe, Kualoa, Waialua, Mokuleia, and Ewa. An extensive tour of Kauai occupies nine chapters. At Waimea he examined the Russian Fort and visited Debora Kapule, an ex-queen, and once the favourite wife of the last king of Kauai.
On Hawaii the writer made an extensive examination of Kohala, and then continued to Waimea, Waipo Valley and Kawaihae, where he found that the latter village had been devastated by a smallpox epidemic. He includes a sobering report on smallpox and the actions of the commissioners of public health in Honolulu. A chapter on the origin of the Hawaiians includes notes on their habits and customs, and the probable 'destiny of the race'. Some spotting. Good copy of a 19th-century narrative on Hawaii.