Royal Hawaiian Agricultural Society and the importing of plants and animals, 1865.


Mr. Editor:—The eminent success which has attended Dr. Hillebrand’s first consignment of plants and birds per Alberto for the Royal Hawaiian Agricultural Society, ought certainly to operate as a stimulus to all who feel interested in the material progress of these islands, to lend a helping hand to enable him to avail freely of the facilities and opportunities he now possesses of procuring and forwarding here the vast number of plants, &c., suitable to our climate, and now within his reach if furnished with the means of securing them. Already several fine healthy plants of the cinnamon and camphor trees  have arrived in excellent condition, the value of which it would be difficult to exaggerate, as well as a large collection of new fruits, flowers and trees, all presumed to be adapted to our climate. He has also sent a collection of beautiful insectivorous and other birds, many of which have arrived in good health, notwithstanding a rather tedious voyage of over sixty days. And yet, the Doctor is only at the threshold of the vast field he is about to explore! Our islands contain such a variety of soil and climate that it is difficult to conceive a limit to their capacity for the successful culture and development of those production switch enrich other tropical regions, only a few of which have as yet reached our shores. He is now in a position to procure and forward them here; and with his zeal and industry and such entire facilities for their transport at his command, it will be an indelible disgrace to us, if we should fail to supply him with the means of making them available. The R. H. A. Society, out of the very limited means at its disposal, advanced him $500, on his departure, for this purpose, but that sum is quite inadequate to secure all the good things within his reach. The “Planters’ Society,” some months ago, became amalgamated with the R. H. A. Society, on the understanding that its members should entitle themselves to membership in the R. H. A. Society by contributing to its funds by an annual subscription of not less than $5 each, and it seems to me that the time has just arrived when it behooves them to come “down with the dust,” and with the success of this first experiment, I cannot allow myself to doubt that this call will be liberally responded to. The annuity for some years appropriated by the Legislature to the R. H. A. Society has been withdrawn, and without the voluntary aid of subscribers, all the efforts of its officers must prove abortive.

John Montgomery,
President R. H. A. Society.

[For more on William Hillebrand, pick up this book from Bishop Museum Press. Hawaiʻi’s Pioneer Botanist: Dr. William Hillebrand, His Life & Letters by Ursula H. Meier.]

(PCA, 9/30/1865, p. 2)


The Pacific Commercial Society, Volume X, Number 13, Page 2. September 30, 1865.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s