Temperance Advocate and Seamen’s Friend, 1843–1954.

The Friend

Rev. Samuel Chenery Damon was sent by the American Seamen’s Friend Society to be chaplain in Honolulu. The Damons sailed from New York March 10, 1842 aboard the Victoria, Captain Spring, and arrived in Honolulu October 19, 1842. He was the pastor of the Bethel Union Church, Seamen’s Chapel for 42 years and was the publisher and editor of the periodical The Friend from 1843 — 1885, when he retired.

The first issue was published in Jan. 1843, originally under the name Temperance Advocate, then as Temperance Advocate and Seamen’s Friend, with the Advocate and Friend being published as an extra, then as The Friend of Temperance and Seamen, with The Friend as an extra, and finally simply as The Friend, beginning January 1, 1845.

From 1885 through 1887, it was co-edited by the Revs. Cruzan and Oggel. The editorship then passed to Rev. Sereno Bishop, who held the post until the publication of the paper fell under the auspices of the Board of the Hawaiian Evangelical Association in April of 1902 where it remained until June 1954. Since then, it has continued in a different format under the Hawaii Conference-United Church of Christ up to the present day, making it the oldest existing newspaper in the Pacific.

The Friend began as a monthly newspaper for seamen, which included news from both American and English newspapers, and gradually expanded to adding announcements of upcoming events, reprints of sermons, poetry, local news, editorials, ship arrivals and departures and a listing of marriages and deaths. Rev. Damon published between a half million and a million copies of The Friend, most of which he personally distributed.

Because of its longevity, The Friend is an excellent resource for scholars of nineteenth-century Hawaiian history.

This collection contains 1,396 issues comprising 21,030 pages and 50,904 articles.

Advertisements

Restoration celebration at Kaniakapupu, 1847.

Fourth Anniversary of the Restoration.

The 31st of July, appears to have become a national holyday among the Hawaiians. So far from discouraging its annual observance, we think it should be rather encouraged. A proper recognition of the day will foster a spirit of patriotism. The late anniversary appears to have been partly festive and partly religious. It was so intended.—All classes of our population were invited to a picnic at His Majesty’s summer residence in Nuuanu Valley. Notwithstanding the unpropitious state of the weather, great numbers resorted thither; besides pedestrians, several thousands on horse back. Says the Polynesian, “one man hired to count them, commenced early in the day and made out 3,600, going up and 4,600 down—another 1,637 following the King, and 362 straggling. His account was only for part of the day.—The Governor’s computation is 3,000, besides those that come from Koolau.” Suffice it to say, probably a larger company has not been assembled for many years.

Our limits will not allow a detailed account of the animating scenes of the day. A multitude seemed much interested in the spear-exercise and other Hawaiian sports. A sumptuous entertainment was spread for foreigners, while the Hawaiians were served, in a style, that reflected great credit upon His Majesty, the Governor, Paki, John Ii, and others who were directly or indirectly concerned. We can truly remark, that we never witnessed so numerous a gathering, where such perfect order, propriety and regularity were maintained. “There seemed to be a place for every man and every man was in his place.” The following summary of the various dishes served up for the occasion will show that the tables must have groaned under the weight of the viands:—

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.

We must not fail to notice one circumstance which was something new for this quarter of the globe. “A coach and four” was a new feature in the procession of a Polynesian chieftain. The Royal party rose in the carriage originally presented by Queen Victoria to her sister Queen, Pomare, but which the latter, in her poverty, was obliged to dispose of by sale. We very much doubt whether any King ever rode through the streets of the capital of his kingdom, when greater order and decorum reigned. To the triumph of Temperance principles among the Hawaiians and foreigners, must be attributed much of the good order that was every where apparent throughout the day.

In the evening, His Majesty, chiefs, foreign officers of government, many of the residents, and numbers of the native population assembled for religious service at the King’s Chapel. A discourse was preached in native and afterwards repeated in English, by the Rev. Mr. Armstrong. The singing was good. The sermon of the Mr. Armstrong has already been published in the columns of the Government Organ. We hops it will be read.

[This and the rest of The Friend can be found here at the click of a mouse on the Mission Children Society page!

This celebration is also described in Thrum’s Annual for 1930!]

(Friend, 8/12/1847, p. 117.)

Fourth Anniversary of the Restoration.

The Friend, Volume V, Number XV, Page 117. August 12, 1847.