The Manihiki, “only kanakas,” 1871.

Returning Manahikians.—On Thursday last, forty-two men and women, and twenty-three children, natives of the Humphrey’s and other islands to the southward of the line, who were brought here two years ago under contracts of service, sailed in the ketch Lunalilo, to be returned to their homes. This is done by the Board of Immigration, in accordance with the provisions of the contracts. It is matter for congratulation to know that the islanders have gone back to their native land with good impressions of Hawaii nei. These impressions will doubtless be imparted to their compatriots when they see the stores of clothes and goods which the returning people take with them, as the result of their service here. It has been found that these islanders are very tractable, though steady labor comes awkward to them at first, are hones and measurably moral, and readily amalgamate with the Hawaiians. If it should result as we have supposed, that their treatment here has been such as to render them desirous of returning, and of bringing others of their countrymen with them, then we may consider that the labor problem for the future is solved. Properly managed, the supply of laborers from the southern islands of the Pacific, of cognate races with the Hawaiian, will be ample for our needs.

—There was, however, some dissatisfaction expressed by the Manahiki people at the lack of accommodations on board the Lunalilo. When the vessel was ready for sea, with provisions and water and the luggage of passengers on board, there was far from comfortable room left for the latter. It may be said that they are “only kanakas,” but it was the bounden duty of the Government officials to provide a roomier vessel for them. A little more expense in this matter might prove money well invested.

(PCA, 6/24/1871, p. 3)


Pacific Commercial Advertiser, Volume XV, Number 52, Page 3. June 24, 1871.

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