The Arrival of Missionaries in the Sandwich Islands…

In the month of March 1822 we reached the Sandwich Islands, and received a cordial welcome from the king and chiefs, to whom the generous present of the British government was peculiarly acceptable. Shortly after our arrival, a public council of the king and chiefs of Hawaii was held at Oahu. Auna and his companion, from Huahine, were invited to attend, and had an opportunity of answering the inquiries of the king and chiefs relative to the events which had transpired in the Society Islands, and of testifying to the feelings of friendship and esteem entertained by Pomare, and the rulers of those islands, much to the satisfaction of the latter; who were convinced that the reports which had been circulated among them respecting the hostile intentions of the southern islanders, and the dangerous influence of Christian missions there, were totally groundless. We did not expect, when we first arrived, to spend more than a fortnight or three weeks in the Sandwich Islands; but circumstances unforeseen, and entirely beyond our control, detained us four months in Oahu. In two months I was enabled to converse with facility, and preach to the people in their own language, which I soon perceived was only a dialect of that spoken by the natives of Tahiti, and the neighboring islands. Auna and his companion were at the same time diligently and acceptably employed in teaching some chiefs of distinction in Hawaii, who requested that he would relinquish his voyage to the Marquesas, and fix his residence among them; to which he cheerfully consented. Several of the principal chiefs also expressed a wish that I should associate with the teachers already engaged in their instruction. The American missionaries at the same time affectionately inviting me to join them, and the measure meeting the approbation of the deputation, it appeared my duty to comply with their request.

Early in February, 1823, I returned to Oahu with my family, experienced a kind reception from the king and chiefs, and was privileged to commence my missionary pursuits in harmonious co-operation with my predecessors, the American missionaries, who were diligently employed in their benevolent exertions for the spiritual well-being of the nation; avoiding, as they have uniformly done ever since, all interference with the civil, commercial, and political concerns of the people, and attending solely to their instruction in useful knowledge and religious truth. (Ellis)

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(These are excerpts from a book by William Ellis that has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired.)

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