5

The Diary of
Frederick William Hurst

1855
THIS HISTORY WAS WRITTEN BY HIMSELF SOMETIME AFTER THE EVENTS HEREIN ACTUALLY HAPPENED. THEY WERE RECORDED 28TH DAY OF AUGUST, 1858.

Accordingly after a voyage of 11 weeks from Australia we arrived in port at Honolulu the 5th of July, 1855. I worked for two days discharging the ships ballast at $1.00 per day. I am sorry to say there is a great deal of hard feelings against Elder Frost, the President of our company.

We put to sea again on the 12th July, supposing the vessel had been sufficiently repaired. We left some of our passengers behind. They stayed to make a little more money before going to Zion. We had a fair fine wind until we were clear of the land, then we lay eight days in a calm expecting the wind to blow again. Then one night it began, and increased against our fore quarters. From sunset until midnight it became almost a hurricane. This strained at the vessel until she leaked both sides of her worse than before. They kept the pumps working all night. At last one of them broke, but they kept one of them giving the water, 13 inches per hour. It was then concluded that the vessel was unseaworthy. Accordingly we put back to Honolulu.

After looking for work for some time, without success, President Lewis asked me to look after his shop, and keep the books, while he was attending conference. I stayed here till the 31st of July, then I was out of employment again. In the meantime Clement got a situation at the Merchant's Exchange.

Owing to various circumstances, and want of funds, the vessel could not be repaired. Accordingly she was sold to pay expenses. She brought (1150 dollars) eleven hundred fifty dollars only.

There was considerable ill feelings among the saints against Elder Frost, and many were in hard circumstances, consequently, a meeting was called by President Lewis to inquire into their grievances. Each Brother was allowed to state his grievance. There was some difficulty in keeping some of the brethren. A great many spoke their feelings. The meeting was kept up until a late hour of the night. I could not help seeing one great fault in the saints -- that is some of them -- they could see, or fancied they saw faults in others, but could not see them in themselves. The meeting was closed by each one forgiving each other everything that was said, and go on and serve the Lord and love each other. Brother Lewis and others made some very appropriate remarks.

I got a small job painting, but it only lasted two days for which I got four dollars. Whether I had work or not I always found a comfortable home at Brother Lewis's house.

I am sorry to say the saints had to put up with very poor provisions, some of them tried to get up a subscription, but they only succeeded in getting forty dollars, the people in Honolulu not being favorable to the Mormons.

I had the pleasure of seeing Elders George Spears and Thurston on their way to Kauai where they had been appointed to labor. I would say that President Lewis resigned his presidency at conference. Brother Silas Smith took his place, Brother John T. Caine, first counselor, Brother S. S. Smith, second counselor. Brother Caine presided over the Oahu Conference. About thirty of the Saints left for San Francisco on the 13th of August, Elder Woodbury accompanying them.

I also had the pleasure of seeing President Silas Smith as he had come down to Oahu to take a tour around the Island. The day the saints left he tapped me on the shoulder and said he wanted me to go among the natives to learn the language. I thought he was joking so took no notice, but I was not going to get off so easy. He invited me to go to the mission house that evening, and then I found that he was serious. However we were to think it over. He asked me how I would like to go on a mission among the natives. Well I told him, if he asked me to go I would do so, but under the circumstances I was then in I did not feel like taking a mission. But I wanted to do the will of the Lord at all times and if he had work for me to do I would do it with pleasure. Accordingly I was ordained an Elder on the 16th of August 1855. The following Elders ordained me: President Silas Smith, Elders John T. Caine, W. W. Cluff, John A. West; Brother Caine was mouth. The following are to the best of my recollection some of the blessings sealed upon my head:

"Brother Frederic W. Hurst, we lay our hands on you at this time to ordain you to the Melchizedek Priesthood, and we say unto you, be faithful and you shall be blessed in getting the language of this people. You will be the means of doing a deal of good on these Islands. The Lord is pleased with you, and we say unto you, in the name of Jesus Christ, you shall be blessed in whatever you put your hand to do. You shall be blessed with health and strength. And we say unto you, put your trust in the Lord, and let no trouble prey upon your mind, and we pray our Father in Heaven that you may be filled with the spirit of your mission. And we say you shall be blessed with the gift of prophesy, vision, revelations to comfort you, to do the will of the Lord. We seal these blessings upon you in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, Amen."

As Elder Hammond was going to Lahaina in a few days, I was told to stay until he went there, then I would accompany him that far, and then take a boat from there to Molakai to learn the language and to assist Elder Bell. I therefore, immediately set to work getting ready. I wanted a great many things, and didn't have any money. Besides I needed three dollars to pay my passage to Molakai. I therefore sold one pair of boots for four dollars, also a big overcoat for four dollars. My brother, Clement, gave me all he had, three or four dollars. However, I managed to get a small fit out and pay my way excepting board at Brother Lewis's which made me feel very bad at the time, though I could not help it. I gave him four dollars, all I had except enough to pay my way to my field of labor. He said I was not to think about it for I was perfectly welcome. What made me feel worse about it was that I knew he was going to the valleys shortly and needed all of the money he could get.

On the 21st of August I had a very severe attack of Baho fever, very prevalent among newcomers. This soon forced me to my bed. I lost my appetite completely, in fact I could not stand the sight of food. I was soon so weak I could scarcely walk about the house. The Brethren were very kind to me. Sister Dinah, who was housekeeping for Brother Lewis, was as good as a mother to me, the only thing I could eat was a little poi and a few oranges. On the 27th of August, Monday evening, still being scarcely able to walk without assistance, I bade adieu to the Brethren and Sisters and started for Lahaina, in company with President Silas Smith and Elder Hammond in the schooner Maui. President Smith and I slept all night on deck amongst the Kanakas (natives). She had about fifty or sixty Kanaka passengers and fifteen or sixteen whites on board. Wednesday morning early we passed close by Molakai and got within about nine miles of Lahaina and then the wind dropped and we lay becalmed all day. The day was exceedingly hot which made it very unpleasant. At about seven in the evening we paid fifty cents each to go ashore rather than staying longer. We arrived at Lahaina about ten o'clock at night.

We went to Brother Hammond's place and found a native Brother and Sister. After eating a slight supper of poi and fish, I rolled myself up in a blanket and laid down on the floor. Mosquitoes troubled me very much that night. I had very little sleep, they kept up a continual buzzing, however, the morning came at last.

After breakfast of fish and poi we went down to see about Brother Hammond's boat as he wanted to go to Lanai to bring his wife and family over here. He got the boat and asked some of the native brethren to row him over. He started in company with President Smith. This left me alone, nobody to speak to except the Kanakas, and when I did they could not understand me. I amused myself by sometimes playing the flute and reading an old pile of Deseret News. I thus passed the time away till about one o'clock.

Saturday, the 1st of September, one of the Brethren got me a boat to go to Molakai; as I was a Mormon Missionary I only had to pay a quarter (25) for my passage over. We started about two o'clock. As soon as we began to get out into the Channel we found the wind was blowing very strong, and a very heavy sea. They kept the boat close to the wind which caused the water to fly from stem to stern, it was not long till we were drenched to the skin. The distance across is about eighteen miles, and we got over about five o'clock. I then left my trunk in a boatman's charge and started for Waialua, the place where I was told Brother Bell was stopping, a distance of ten miles. I thought the boatman told me it was only five miles and I could easily walk it before dark.

I started although I was still very weak for I had not yet entirely recovered from the effects of the fever, and it was with extreme difficulty I reached Kiliula about eight o'clock. Here I happened to meet a young kanaka brother who could talk a little English. He informed me that Brother Bell stayed at Kiliula, but at present was thirty miles off at Kanaluna. However he took me down to the house where Brother Bell stopped and I was soon at home here for they received me very kindly.

I soon had a number of Saints around me asking all sorts of questions. I thought I would not lose any time so I commenced to learn the language immediately, much to their amusement at my blunders.

I had plenty of fish and poi to eat but I had very little appetite, besides I was very much fatigued, having walked eight miles, which was very hard on me being so weak. But I enjoyed good spirits and felt to put my trust in the Lord at all times. At a late hour I laid me down to rest for the night and not a wrap to cover me. I arose about seven o'clock much refreshed on Sunday Morning. It was a beautiful day, only a little warm, but the way the house is situated close to the seashore it made it pleasant.

Elder Ke Alaho was lord of the house. I found one Brother sick, his name was Halelo. They told me it was an old disease and that he had been ill for two years past. I find there are dreadful diseases among this people. The family was composed of five individuals; Kealoha, Halelo, two women and a girl about fifteen, her name is NaMose, which means in English, Marriage. Ke Aloha is a good man, he has been kind to the Elders. They treated me kindly although they never saw me before.

I attended their meeting although I could not understand. Here I met the Brethren, they seemed very warm hearted and wanted me to go home with them, but I declined as I wanted to see Brother Bell as soon as he came back. On the whole I spent a very pleasant day. In the evening they would have me sing in English. I sang a few of our favorite hymns which pleased them very much.

They thought I did not like their poi, however, they were mistaken for the poi seemed to come quite natural to me. I arose Monday morning a little better, but scarcely any appetite. Spent the day trying to learn the language, much to their amusement, in fact they would puzzle me by telling me the names of a great many things and of course my memory could not contain them. I kept them all quite alive laughing at my blunders.

Brother Bell arrived about six o'clock in the evening. I cannot express how I felt when I saw him. It seemed such a treat to see a white man again, and talk again in my native tongue--English. Brother Bell is a young man, one year younger than I, and a very agreeable companion, and a good man. We spent the evening very agreeable and then retired to rest.

Next day we walked to Waialua. The Saints were very glad to see us. We had a very good meeting with the Saints. Brother Bell did the speaking. The Saints would have us sing in English, it was very difficult for me for I had caught a very bad cold. We stayed all night and the next day went back to Kiliula. Brother Bell had the kindness to lend me his books. I spent the remainder of the week studying the language.

On Thursday we met with the Saints at Waialua, it being Fast Day. We also held meeting there the following Sunday and partook of the Sacrament. At the Saints request I spoke my feelings, Brother Bell being interpreter. Brother Bell and I sang "The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning," the Saints were very pleased to hear us sing in English. In fact where ever we go that is about the first thing we have to do when we visit the natives.

On Tuesday, we started around the Island Eastward to hunt up the Saints. We reached Lupehu, about eight or ten miles from Waialua. We stopped two or three times on the way, Brother Bell preaching where ever he could get a chance. One place they called us all the dirty names they could think of. The parties called themselves Calvinists. However, we got to a Brother's house at Lupeho, we found only his wife there as he had gone to Lahaina (his name is Kuli). She boiled a fowl for us and we ate quite a hearty supper of that and poi. Brother Bell preached and argued until a late hour.

This place is swarming with fleas, cockroaches, and centipedes. One big centipede about six inches long got right under me as I was lying down. I went to knock some cockroaches off me, and put my hand right on him, he ran away before we would catch him. When we went to bed we left our trousers on and tucked the bottoms into our socks to keep the reptiles from crawling up inside, which they are not above doing if they get a chance. However, in spite of everything I slept sound until morning.

After breakfast of sweet potatoes and fish, we went on our journey. We reached Halana about mid day after traveling over very high mountains in the hot sun. We stopped and talked with two men for some time, then went farther on until we saw a number of kanakas sitting under a Kukui nut tree. They called us up so of course we accepted the invitation. They then ran and got some watermelons for us. We soon had a number of kanakas, both young and old as we were quite a curiosity to them. It was soon known all over that we were Mormons.

We went down to the Calvinist Meeting house where a native preached to a pretty large congregation. I believe that most of them came to see us as much as anything else. The Preacher said we were two lions come among the sheep. We stopped at a Calvinist's house, whose name was Popoki which interpreted means cat. We had dry raw fish and poi. The next morning we took a walk up the valley to see a couple of large waterfalls. They are each about a hundred feet high. I took a sketch of them, then we came down and crossed the river and went down on the other side. We met with only one Brother, and he belonged to Kiliula.

As we were going along a kanaka called to us to go to his house and preach the Gospel. We were there and stopped for about a half an hour but were so insulted we were obliged to leave.

Next morning we started to go back to Waialua, we reached Lupehu about midday. Brother Kuli had just got back from Lahaina, we stopped there all night and then went back to Waialua where we found the Saints feeling very well and glad to see us again.

The next day being Sunday, we went to Kiliula and held meetings there. One thing I would add is that I had no clean shirt to put on, the Saints making the excuse that they had no soap, but I soon found out that it was their laziness. Ke Aloha told me, as he had friends there, who by the way were outsiders, he could not accommodate us for the present, adding that we had better go to Waialua to stay. Accordingly I packed up my things and after holding meeting that evening, went up to Waialua without any supper. Waialua Saints are a great deal more warm hearted than those at Kiliula.

On Monday I got a horse from one of the brethren and went to Kiliula to get my trunk. I had no sooner got it across the saddle when the horse jumped and down went the trunk. The horse was dreadfully frightened. I, therefore, took out a few things I wanted and left the trunk for the present. I spent most of the week in drawing and painting the sketch I had taken in Halana and studying the language.

On Sunday we held meeting in Waialua. We ordained one young man named Lili, an Elder. I this day made my first attempt at giving out hymns in native. The natives seemed astonished; that gave them enough to talk about the rest of the day.

On Monday the 24th of September, Brother Bell and I started around the Island, Westward, intending to go to Kaualuno, Kaluakii, and possibly to the end of the Island. There being no food in Waialua, we went without our breakfast and stopped at Kiliula and made a sumptuous repast on salt and poi, as they had nothing else. We then pursued our journey and reached Kaluaha. We were invited to stop all night there. A gentleman who was stopping there invited us to go and see a friend of his, a Portuguese. We went and he entertained us very hospitably. We had coffee, poi, potatoes, etc. We spent the evening very agreeable but somehow or other we said nothing about Mormonism. I felt some way that it would be casting pearls before swine and yet I did not like the idea of leaving without him hearing my testimony of the truth of Mormonism.

September 25th, Kaluaha. This morning we pursued our journey, our road lay close by the seashore for about ten miles. We traveled about nine miles in hope of getting some dinner, but hoped in vain. We stayed a long time, Brother Bell preaching; at last he told the people of the house we were hungry. They said they had no food, so we had a drink of water and made another start. The roads were sandy and heavy, and the sky was cloudless, and the sun seemed as if it was trying to melt us to death. It fairly made the perspiration run off of us. After walking about ten miles we then struck across country. Our road now lay over steep mountains. We had to travel fifteen miles before we could get anything to eat. We then stopped at a German house, they entertained us very hospitably. We had as much milk as we could drink, which was quite a treat, also a good dinner. After resting ourselves we pursued our journey intending to reach Kaualuna that night.

We still ascended for about another mile when the scene suddenly changed. We arrived at the summit of a steep cliff almost perpendicular for at least fifteen hundred or two thousand feet above the level of the sea. Far away below lay the pretty village of Kalaupapo. Potato and melon patches all lay out in full view. Away to the right lay the remains of an old crater and beyond that the open sea. We got pretty tired before we got to the bottom, and besides it rained very heavy and made the roads very slippery. It was between eight and nine o'clock before we reached Kaualuna, and the Saints had all gone to bed. They neither had food nor water when we got there, however, after an hour we got a drink of water and went supperless to bed, or rather laid down on the floor in our wet clothes. I scarcely had a dry thread on me for my coat was very thin and it had rained very heavy. I felt to thank our Heavenly Father for his protecting watch care over us on our journey, but I did not feel very well at our reception. At this time it seemed to me there was not much Mormonism in our host, or at least in the Saints visiting our host. I had a lame leg, my feet were very sore after traveling, however, we laid down and slept very soundly until morning.

September 26th. I arose this morning very near perished with the cold, the house not being finished, the wind blew in very cold. Rained very heavy during the night, and continued until about eleven o'clock and we then went down to the sea and had a bath, after which we took a walk about a mile round the shore, then went to a house and had some sweet potatoes and Luau Kalo tops cooked by steam. We stopped some time, Brother Bell preaching Mormonism to them. We then returned home and met with the Saints, very few attended and they seemed as though they did not have much of the spirit of Mormonism with them.

Thursday, September 27th. Brother Bell and I took a walk to the old crater. It is quite a curiosity. After ascending for about a half a mile we came to the first, or outer rim of the crater. It is about a mile and a half in circumference. We then descended about one hundred and thirty feet. The descent was nearly perpendicular, our path was very rough, and after some difficulty we got to a sort of landing or large flat. We found it covered with sugar cane and some fine long sweet potatoes, some few breadfruit trees. In the center of this flat is a large basin about half a mile in circumference, the sides being perpendicular for about seventy feet. The sides of this basin are very rough, chiefly composed of rough honeycombed rock. The lowest pit is full of salt water which rises and falls with the tide. The natives say there is no bottom to this pit and that formerly they brought their dead and tied stones to their feet and cast them in. After staying as long as the extreme heat and thirst would permit, we left this sacred spot. We stopped at a house and got some watermelons which we found very refreshing after our walk. Brother Bell preached to the inmates of the establishment for some two or three hours, after which we returned home. Had some uncleaned fish and more sour poi.

September 28th, Kaualuna. After breakfasting on raw fish and potatoes we took a walk to Waiakula. We were received very coldly by the natives, we could find no Saints in this place. After some difficulty we got a little salt and poi to eat. We then returned. On our way we stopped at a house and got some sweet potatoes. Soon after we saw some men sitting on the ground, we went to them and Brother Bell talked a long time to them about this Church.

I had a dream last night. I dreamed that Elder Frost appeared to me and told me to go on and be faithful, adding that the Lord was well pleased with me.

Brother Bell and I went round to hunt up the Saints this evening, but found they were all gone fishing.

September 29th. This morning we took a walk in the country and had a fine bath in fresh water. On our way home we called at a house and had some potatoes, after staying awhile we returned home. In the evening we went around again but found only a few of the Saints at home. Brother Bell got talking with some of them and one said he wanted to be cut off tomorrow.

Sunday, September 30th. Met with the Saints before breakfast. They all felt well with the exception of two who desired to be cut off. Met again about twelve o'clock. Brother Bell preached, followed by Kahakawila, President of the Branch. Met again in the afternoon. Some of the brethren spoke their feelings. We cut two off from the Church.

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Pages 18 - 25 in the 1961 edition of the Diary of Frederick William Hurst