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Miscellany: The Sandwich Islands

Miscellany: The Sandwich Islands image
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At a public meeting in New York, Dr. Lafon, wlio wc bcliove bas been a missiunary to tbe Sandwich Inlands, stated in answer to inquiries, that the Missionaries first went to the Sandwich Islrinds', tbc Chiefs gave them donations n land, and witli it tbc serfs upon it. - Tbe serfs failcd to serve the missionaries well, and tliey inuired of the Chiefs what they must do? They were told to burn up tbeir honses, and brake their "oakibashes." The i.s tbc vessel in which tbeir food is mixed, ile believed this course liad been taken by gome Missionaries. A slave tbere is seldom whipped. Dr. L. went on to state that out of 25,000 cburch-members in heathen lands, about 22.000 were to be found thero, and n tho condition be had represenled.A fíer the Chief.s united with ihëchurchcs, it becamc vcry popular to join : mul tlio great diflictilty was in kecping tlicm out! - thoy cume like bees to a hive. - Dr. L. pai;i u high tribute to the patiënt, persevercing industry of the Missionaries. The c'Kurchés were generally Congregntioiiril ; and should a, Chief get drunk, or commit any other open immorality, it woukl. in ihe (Tftjt placo, be next to impossiblo, tn prove it upon hiin ; and quite as imposible, were bis guilt cstablishcd by proof, to gel him voted öut of l lic clmrch. lic was opposed to taking in Clviefe, bocauso thcy owned slaves. - II c rictëd on thnt principie, until two Chiefs cunVe ï'ö him with letters óf recommendation, wjiich as a Prcsbvterian, hc couldnot disregard. They soou had a "spree ;" bathed in the sea in an indecent rnanner, gt drunk; ofall which he was inibrmed by foreigrics. Ho could not takc iheir testimony ; tlie nativos told him the Chiefs were drunk, but wlien informed that they must teslify, thcy all said they did not sec it ; others saw them; and not a man or woman could be found who wpirld testify to lbo (acts as oftheir own knowledge. lie obtained a decisión of the Scssion, two elders nnd himself. to rut thcni oíl' {'rom the church. They could not get a church lo stand up and vote a high Chief o;l. The Ti-mces;? Hcnrietta was guilly of high sins ; et n Mission.irv wou ld not of eetliua vote of her people to expel her l'rom the church. The Episcopal modo sometimos took the place of ; the minister lonk the p'ace ol Bishop : read lhcm out ofllie cliurch ; and (hen (bil back upon Congrcg-iiionaliám - jüsí as cTrcuuisjahces required. Put as they grpw up to manhood and woman-houd, ihey grow sluid, nndare mentally and morally grossly deficiënt. It was a general opinión in fnis country that the people there wcre greatly elcvated, ond must bc companiunable. Tliis was a mistake. Christianity was reprcscntcd ns liaving prevailcd to some extent, and therefbre the people must have been clevated. Dibble's bouk on the the Sandwich Islsnds is a standard work. That states the joints of their retbnnation. Whcn tlie missionnries went the re, t lic lslanders would rnurder for a sixpence worth of property. That property was sometimes a strip of cloth around the loins, whicli was the indispensable dress, and the only indispensable drrss, of a Sandwich Islandcr. Thcy would then rnurder for that. Thcy would then commit murder to get a bono out of the body, of wliicli to make fish hooks. All that had ceased. f his was .0110 point of reforniation. Tlien, they would get druuk at the first opportunity. Now, temperancQ provails to a great extent. Tliis was anothcr point. Then, they wcre deplorabl}' thievish. Thcro had been a great iniprovemcnt in this respect. - Then. they had 110 written languoge : now thoy have. But their imnroveinent in the usages of life was vcry trifiing. A man may tliere have been a professing Cliristian for ten years and liever hada pair of pantaloons ; he had not (aken this indispensable step towards civili.ation. In regard to food, they make no nearcr approacli to civilization. Thoy use an Indían lurnip, ar.d tlie 'tara,' poisonous when in a raw state. They roast tlie "tara," pulverize it, mix with water into paste, in a dish they cali a 'calabash :' into this thcy thrust their fingérs, to which the pasto auheres, andthcy suck itoll'. lfvcry lunigry, thoy put in two fingcrs (o tho second lcnucklcs ; if not very hungry, onc inger will ansu'cr. Thcir houscs aro made of poles sluck 11 tlio grounti, intcrlaccd with withes. and the interstics filled with grnss- Imrdly higli enough to stand erect n, and barely largo enough io lodge, promiscously, upon the floor; the iumates are someliines two, three, or i'our families. The wind and rain ofton bring suddendestruction to ihe frail tenemonls. Dut tliere are no partitions in those houses : and partitions are an index of civili.atiori. They have no piales, no spoons, mknivcs: no variety in Ihcir food. - Their language is so Iow, so vilo, so corrupt, that missionaries vvall up their houses and yards, to keep the eyes and ears of their children from contact willi the stream of pollutior. ihus put forth. - The Missionarics soon eecurccl the confidence of the Chieis; brought them into therhiii-ch; the Chiefs made laws with severe penalties against murder, intemperanco, adultcry, and the breaking of ilio Sabbatb, which bas banishcd ihose siris from sight. The first voluntary temporalice society was fonned in 18-12. Tho people are slaves to tho Chiefs; and it is slnvery wliich prevenís the adoption of the usnges of civilied 1 i fe. - The ownership is ns complete as in South Carolina, tiiough the chiefs do not take all the time of the people ; they take what ihey want ; and make it a rule that tho people support themselves. - Thcre wcro about 300 Chieis ; and about 100,000 slaves. Thcre was nopricc ; no sale ; no demnnd ; there are so niany of thcm : though ín one cásea slavc was sold lo a foreigner for 1GO. A Chiefwill hnvo perhapsorty slaves in bis rctinuc : thrcc to brush off the flies : two or thrce to prosa tho muscles of his body ; and make him feel good aflor eat- ing a lioarty din'icr. Wh'en h'é(I)r.';ti.] . wanted help, he would go and gct a Cliicl . to releaso a sla ve, so lliat he could hire ( him. The ro are some otlier points of difier, ence betwccn sfayéfy in the Sandwich Islandsaud in the Uniíed States, but the degradation of the poople is complete, in , consequence of this ownership : the eflect upon 1 lie man is about in one caso ns in . the other. It is wild and ridícülbus to ascribe íheir degradation to any olher cause. We subjoin iho following from INIelville's account of the Polynesian Islands. "Look at Ilonululu, the metropolis of tho Sandwich Islands! - a community of disinierested merchants, and devotcd, selle.iled herakls of the Cross, located on the very spot that twenty years ngo was defiled by the presence of idolntry. V-hti! a subject for an eloquent Biblo orator! Nor lias such an opportunity lor a display of iiiissionary rhetoric been nllowcd to pass by unimproved! Bilt when these philanthropitts us such glowing accounts of one half of their labor?, vliy does their modesty prevent them from publishing the other half of lie good thev have wrought. Not until I visited FJonolulu was I aware of tho fact that the small remnant of the nativos liad been civil ized into draught-horses, and evangelizad into beats of burden. And so it is. Thcy have boen literally broken into the traces, ar.d are harnessed to the vehicle of their spiritual instructors like so mnny dumb b rutes! "Among a multitude of similar exhibítions that I saw, I shall never forget arouiisr, ren-taced, and very lady hke personngp, a missiorïary's spouse, who day afterday for months togethcr, took her regular airlng&in u little go-cart drnwn by two of the islandéfs, one an oíd grey IicadcJ man, anl tho other a roguish stripling, both being, with the exception of the fig-leaf, as naked as when they we re born. Over n level peace of ground this pair of draughl bipeds would go wit a shambüíig, unsighdy trot, the yuung ster lianging back all tlie time like knowing horse, whilo old hack ploddec on and diil all tho work. "llattling along tlirough the st reets o the town in tlnsstilish equipnge, Ihe lady looks about her as magnilicentlv osan'; queen driven in state to her coronation A sudden elevation, and u sandy road huwcver, soon disturb her secénity. The srnaN wliecl.s soon beoome etnbcdded ii the loo,sesoil, - (heold slager stands tug ging and sweating, wliilc llie youngone trisks ab(Mit and does nothing ; not ai inch does the chariol budge. Will not the tender licartcd lady, wlio has left friendá and home tor the good of the soulsofiho poor hentben, will tho think a little about their bodies and got out andcase tlio wrotched oíd man uritil thc asccnt is mounted? Not she ; she could iiüt drea;n pf it. To be su re, she used to Ibiülí nothing of drivinglhe cows to pasturo on i fio o!d farm in New England ; but. timos liaVo changed sídco then. So sim retains hor sent an! bawls out, 'ÍIookée! hookcc!' (pull, pull.) Tlio oíd gentleman, l'rightencd at t lio sound, labora awav hardor than eyer; and the younger ono makos a great show of str'aining himsclf, but takes care to keep bis o-yc on bis mistress, n order to know when to dodge out of harm's way. At last the good lady, loses her patience : 'Hookoeí hookee! and rap goes the heavy handle of her huge fan over the naked skull of the old savags ;I IIIMII M !■ Mil - IIM !■ ■ while thc young ono shíes to one side find kceps beyond its range. 'Ilookeeí liookce! again she cries - 'Ilookee lata kanaká!' (pull strong, men,)- but all in vain, and she is obliged in the end to diarnount, and, sad neecssty,actually to va)k (o the top of the hül. 'Al the town u-here this paragon of humility resides, is a spacious and elcgnht American chapcl, where divine service is regularlv pnrformed. Twice every .SabHtli, towards the close oí tlie exercises, mny be scen a score or two of liitle vngonsrangedalonglhe railing in front oflhe edifice, with two squalid nativo foolmen n the livery of nakedness, standing by each, and wailing for ihe dismissal of ho congregaron to draw their superiors tome.'