The celebration of the fourth anniversary of the Restoration of the Hawaiian Flag by Rear Admiral Richard Thomas took place on Saturday last—July 31. The morning unfortunately was lowery, much rain fell in the valley, and some showers reached town. Notwithstanding this and the muddy roads, by early dawn, parties on foot and horseback were thronging the road to the King’s residence at Nuuanu, where the appointed feast was to come of.
At the 8 o’clock signal gun from the fort the national ensigns and royal colors were raised throughout the town.
Large masses of people collected from all parts of the island to ride in the royal procession to Nuuanu. At 10 o’clock, the palace gates were thrown open, and His Majesty drove out under a royal salute from the fort. He was attended by the Queen and Premier and lady. The royal party rode in the fine carriage purchased from Queen Pomare, and which was the gift of Queen Victoria to her. It was drawn by four iron greys, the carriage and horses being tastefully decorated, and the postillions in neat livery. Other carriages containing native officers and ladies followed. The ministers and chiefs were on horseback.A guard of mounted officers carrying the royal standard escorted the King’s carriage, and they were preceded by 300 foot soldiers to the confines of town, where they opened to the right and left, the royal cortege passing through their ranks, when they returned to the fort to protect the town, in case of any attempt to take advantage of the absence of most of the population, to plunder or create a riot. The three marshalls of the day, in appropriate uniforms, Messrs. Sea, Jasper and Jarrett, immediately preceeded the carriage. The turn out of the natives did them great credit. About 1000 women on horseback, riding five abreast, gaily dressed, mostly wearing palm leaf hats and ponchos trimmed with bright ribbons, rode next in the procession after the young chiefs. After them, were nearly as many men, all well dressed, and in the same order. Upon crossing Beretania street 21 guns were fired from Punch Bowl battery and the same number from the King’s yacht, Kamehameha III.
The King arrived on the ground at half past 11, where his subjects had already assembled in great numbers to greet him. The weather cleared up somewhat and the whole scene was most animated and picturesque. Rustic booths had been erected by the people under the neighboring groves, and thousands upon thousands of the island population, in their best attire, displaying a great variety of rich colors, contrasting prettily with the dense foliage among which they were partially embowered, added greatly to the life and beauty of the scene, as the spectator rode up the narrow road that led to it.
The spear exercise and sham fight attracted universal attention, particularly among the numerous foreign population present, but owing to the slippery state of the ground and the mud which attached itself to the spears, did not go off so well as it otherwise would. There was considerable excitement among the people while the Lua—the old process of disjointing bones and strangling—was being displayed, as it no doubt for the moment revived many old associations of heathenism, which had been long forgotten.
The Kingʻs steward had provided an ample collation in the house for such of the ladies and gentlemen as preferred foreign cookery to native. If the weather had been more auspicious, nearly all of our foreign lady population and families would have been present. As it was, they were well represented, and appeared to heartily enjoy the novel scene. Their appetites, sharpened by a long ride soon made room on the loaded tables and left His Majesty nothing in doubt that his hospitality was not fully appreciated. A choir of native children sand a number of Hawaiian hymns and anthems, and Messrs. Marshall and Francis Johnson kindly contributed to the pleasures of the day, by singing their best temperance and comic songs.
Outside of the house, extending 600 feet towards the Pali, a rustic table spread over with fern leaves, and raised a foot from the ground, had been prepared for the poi eaters. The stewards and stewardesses, numbering some hundreds, dressed in uniforms, with wreaths of leaves or flowers around them, distinguishing the chiefs whose people or tenants they were, in single file, brought at 2 o’clock the following provisions, and at signals from the chiefs, who each headed his party, spread them upon the table. These provisions were all cooked in the native style.
271 hogs, 482 large calabashes of poi, 602 chickens, 3 oxen, 2 barrels salt pork, 2 of bread, 3,125 salt fish, 1,820 fresh do., 12 1-2 barrels luau and cabbage, 4 do. onions, 18 bunches bananas, 55 pine apples, 10 barrels potatoes, 55 ducks, 82 Turkeys, 2,245 cocoanuts, 4,000 heads of kalo, 180 squid, Grapes and other etcetera, sufficient to feast 12,000 people.
Perfect order was maintained, while His Majesty, the chiefs, officers and foreigners whose appetites had not been previously spoiled by St. John’s well spread tables, took their places at the head of this rural feast. The lower limbs of the trees on each side had been trimmed overhead, leaving the thick foliage in the shape of an arch, among which were spread banners and flags, the whole forming as pretty a vista as one ever sees. Underneath were thousands of hungry natives, on either side, greedily devouring the food with their eyes and only awaiting the termination of grace by Mr. Ii, to fall to. No sooner was the signal given by the King, than a good-natured rush toolk place, and a champ of active teeth and a buzz of busy tongues, which baffles all description. We have seen many a Yankee steamboat dinner disappear in one rapid gulp, but that performance is done in silence, tongues and teeth have nothing to do in the premises,—but here, it was laugh, chew, swallow and eat—champ—champ—despatch and fun at once—a native on his back, and another dropping poi by fingers full into his wide opened mouth—another fisting a fish, porker’s rib, or leg, and we verily believe a dog’s head, but that does not appear in the bill of fare, though some were ready to swear they tasted it,—old women with ornaments of olden time around their necks, chanting meles in most doleful tones to the King, who listened not a whit—some squatted, some stretched out at full length on the wet ground, some standing, some kneeling, some making free and easy with their neighbors extremities by way of cushions—some one way and some another, all mixed up, some 6, the Gov. says 10,000 people. Young and old, men and women, eating, laughing and talking, all getting their fill of fun and food. It was a rich scene, and much did some enjoy it. As for ourself, we did make prize of a luaud mullet, with which and some rare cocoanut pudding, a-la-Hawaii, we were well content to make a dinner, for we defy Paris to do up a fish more as it should be. After the feast was over, the people returned to town. Notwithstanding the numbers fed, much provision remained or was carried off by greedy fellows who looked forward to a second series a-la-family.
The U. S. Commissioner and Consul and French Consul with their families were present.
On the return of the royal cortege, the morning salutes were repeated as the king entered town.
We have endeavored to ascertain the exact number of horses that passed the bridge on the 31st. One man hired to count them, commenced early in the day and made out 3,000 going up and 4,000 down—another, 1,637 following King and 352 straggling. His account was only for part of the day. The Governor’s computation is 3,000, besides those that came from Koolau.
The King graciously pardoned Kaholomoku, as an act of grace for the day. Kaholomoku was a prisoner guilty of arson, and sentenced to four years labor, two of which he had faithfully performed, besides conducting himself with great propriety.
Although all restraint was taken off and all perfectly at liberty to do as they liked, complete harmony and order prevailed, nor was there any accident worthy of notice during the day. How far this order may have been owing to the fostering care and principles of the King and government in preventing the native population from using ardent spirits, we leave our foreign readers to judge. At all events, it is worthy of record, and affords an unanswerable argument in favor of entire abstinence; for none who know human nature, can doubt but that the results of the day would have been far different had ardent spirits been accessible to the native population. Those who by example or persuasion would lead the chiefs and people to relapse into their former intemperate courses, surely do not reflect upon the danger they would bring upon themselves and society. The security of life and property would be on a far different basis than the present.
At half past 7—under a salute from the hill fort—the King and chiefs left the palace for the Rev. A. Armstrong’s Church, where interesting exercises in Hawaiian and English, concluded the ceremonies of the day. The singing of the choir, aided by the Messrs. Johnsons, Marshall and a number of ladies, was much praised. We give in our columns the English sermon of Mr. Armstrong, the sound sentiments of which will we think commend themselves to all our readers.
(Polynesian, 8/7/1847, p. 2)