A Kanaka Community in California.—A gentlemen who has resided long in the Hawaiian Islands, writes thus from Indian Creek, El Dorado county:
I found here twenty-four Kanakas, principally Hawaiian, and two from the South Seas; two Hawaiian women, three Indian women, of the “Digger” race, and four half Indian children. At this I was not surprised. But I was nt prepared to find two of the Indian women speaking Hawaiian very correctly, all of them dressing neatly, cutting, sewing, washing and ironing their own and their husband’s and children’s clothes; to find one of them reading the Hawaiian Bible very intelligently, as does also the oldest child, a girl of eight or ten years; to find two of these “Digger” women taking part in prayer meetings, expressing regret at their former ignorance, and pity for their ignorant relatives; and to find them all desireous to learn more. I was not prepared to find one of the best of their dwelling houses set apart exclusively for religious worship—floored, seated with backless benches, with a table at one end for the speaker; to find the nativesholding early morning and evening meetings every week day, besides seven district meetings on Sunday, and one Thursday afternoon meeting;and to find that for a few weeks past they have kept up an afternoon singing school. Most of their dwelling houses are quite rough, but Kenao, perhaps the most substantial Hawaiian christian in California, I found living in a neat little clapboard house put up by himself, painted outside and in, and two of the rooms neatly papered. I have not found a more interesting community since coming to California. Two of the Indian women speak Hawaiian altogether. One of them reads it with considerable ease and correctness, joins in the singing, takes part in the prayer meetings, and prays in secret. She has just been taken down with the small pox. I shall earnestly plead that she may not be taken away now. She is the mother of three bright children, one now at Hilo, Sandwich Islands. The eldest child, a girl of eight or ten years, they say is a good reader. She is fast recovering from the small pox, and acts like a well behaved and thoughtful girl. My heart has been touched by her patience under suffering. They have put a stop to drunkenness among themselves, sending off those who would drink and steal.They tell me that after due deliberation they voted to raise $500 for a new church, and that it is to be accomplished within this year. After some hesitation as to whether to contribute anything for missionary purposes till they had raised the $500 for their church, they finally voted, before I arrived, to take up a contribution every monthly concert.
[Does anyone know who the child was that was sent back to Hilo to be educated?
This article was reprinted in the PCA, 6/19/1862, p. 2.]
(Daily Alta California, 5/24/1862, p. 1)
Daily Alta California, Volume XIV, Number 4480, Page 1. May 24, 1862.