We meet a local Prophet…

In the forenoon of the first of July, two posts of observation were fixed, and a base line of 200 feet was measured, in order to ascertain the height of Mouna Huararai; but the summit being covered with clouds, they were obliged to defer their observation. In the afternoon they walked through the S. E. part of the town to select a spot in which to dig for fresh water. After an accurate investigation of the places adjacent, in which they thought it might be found, they chose a valley, about half a mile from the residence of the governor, and near the entrance of Raniakea, as the spot where they were most likely to meet with success. The 4th of July being the anniversary of the American independence, guns were fired at the fort, the colors hoisted, and a hospitable entertainment given at the governor’s table. The missionaries employed the greater part of the day at the well, which early in the morning they had commenced. In the evening, while at tea, considerable attention was attracted by a slender man, with a downcast look, in conversation with the governor. It afterwards appeared, that this was a stranger, from Maui, who wished to be thought a prophet, affirming that he was inspired by a shark that enabled him to tell future events. The governor said, many of the people believed in him, and from them he obtained a living. The excavations of the well proceeded but slowly during the next day. Hard and closely imbedded lava rendered the work difficult. But as the governor promises assistance, they are encouraged to proceed. (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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