10

The Diary of
Frederick William Hurst

1856
February 13th, Pakea. We left Waialua about eight o'clock this morning after searching all over the neighborhood for breakfast. We dined at a friend of Keanu's at Kamahaa. Reached this place about sunset. Found Brother Laepau feeling comfortable. Spent the evening conversing on Mormonism.

February 14th, Waiakane. We reached this place about three o'clock and found the Saints well and very glad to see us. Spent most of the evening talking and arguing with a Catholic.

February 15th, Papakaho. We arrived here about midday. Found the house all shut up; no natives to be seen. We entered the house and rested a while for the day was very hot, and my feet very sore. I walked nearly all the way from Waiakane barefoot for my boots hurt my feet. After resting we went in search of the brethren. Found two or three Calvinists out in the plantation, they informed us the brethren had all gone fishing and probably would not return till next week. We stayed with some Calvinists. They treated us kindly.

February 16th. Spent the day studying. In the evening at sunset, the Saints not returning, Keanu and I made up our minds not to wait any longer, but start immediately for Kaualuna and walk by moonlight in order to be there early in the morning to hold meeting with the Saints. Kaualuna is thirty miles or more. We walked 14 or 15 miles barefoot. We walked very sharp and about two o'clock we stopped at a house to rest a short time and get something to eat. We were very tired as the road was very sandy and heavy. At dawn we again pursued our journey, descended the before mentioned precipice at Kalaupapa and reached Kaualuna about 8 a.m. Breakfasted and held meeting.

Very few of the Saints attended in the morning; in the afternoon the house was quite full. We held meeting at the President's house as the meeting house is blown down and the Saints have not yet put it up again. Retired very early as we were very tired.

February 18th, Pelekuna. We went down to Waiakaulu to try and get a canoe to come to this place, but they wanted one Dollar so we had to return to Kaualuna. Not long after our return a man came and said he had just arrived from Pelekuna and if we would return with him he would take us for 25 each. We complied and walked again to Waiakaula; this was my first trip in a native canoe. We started although the wind blew strong and the waves ran high. We had not got fifty yards from the shore before I was drenched to the skin. The waves broke over us fearfully, kept Keanu busy all the time. It was with considerable difficulty we landed the sea was so rough. The breakers rolled in fearfully and dashed against the rocks; we hesitated about half an hour before we ran ashore. We landed at a Catholic village. It got dark shortly after we landed.

We climbed up a very high mountain and then descended and reached this place about nine o'clock at night. The people were quite astonished to see us. There are quite a number of houses here, this place is surrounded by precipices from four to six thousand feet high. The tops of the mountains seem to almost touch the sky. We put up at the house of Keanu's brother and were soon seated around a calabash of poi and fish. After supper we talked Mormonism till near midnight and then retired to rest.

February 19th. It has poured rain all night and day. We have preached Mormonism all day to a houseful of natives.

February 20th. Attended the Calvinist meeting before breakfast after which I talked for some time outside on the first principles of the Gospel. I went around to nearly all the houses and told them if they wanted to hear us preach we would hold meeting at the Teacher's house at half past three; the Calvinist Teacher told them to blow the horn for our meeting. They blew the horn and cried: "Whoever wants to hear the word of God, come to meeting." The missionaries had forbid us to preach in their meetinghouse, and the Teacher's house, though large, was not nearly big enough, so we held meeting out of doors. I preached with great power for about an hour and a half, followed by Keanu. We both engaged the spirit of God, and had a first rate meeting. Spent the evening arguing.

February 21st. We left the village we stayed in yesterday and went about three miles into the country to this place. We were received very kindly. They immediately killed a fowl for us and while it was cooking, at their request we held meeting by torch light. I spoke on Baptism and the rise of the church. Had a good time all the rest of the evening. The host wanted me to marry his daughter, who by the way was very good looking but exceedingly bashful, and live with them. I told him I came to preach the Gospel and not to marry.

I forgot to add that Monday I got everything wet and wore wet clothes all day. Tuesday and this evening I feel the effects of the same in the shape of a swelled face and toothache.

February 22nd, Waialua. Arose very early, breakfasted and started at daylight. We ascended the far famed Pali, or precipice, the steepest hill I ever saw. I had to walk barefoot as the path was so steep and slippery, some places overhanging. We ascended on a very narrow ridge and each side went almost straight down. Just slip off the path and you would fall hundreds of feet and get dashed to pieces. It took us till near midday to reach the top. We rested a while and then traveled over or through a very rough muddy road and descended at Kamalau. Had something to eat and reached this place at sundown, tired and footsore. At least I will leave the reader to imagine after climbing over rocks, etc.

Found Brother Bell well and glad to see us back. We received some pamphlets written in the Hawaiian language by George Q. Cannon in San Francisco, California. I received a letter from my Brother C. C. Hurst in Honolulu, stating that several families; namely Bird, Humphries, John Baptist, _________, Story; sailed in the Francis Palmer for the coast on the ninth of February. Got letters from Oahu and Maui, all well except President Silas Smith who is sick in Honolulu.

February 23rd. Spent most of the day studying and reading the Deseret News. Pilikia about food.

February 24th, Sunday. Attended four meetings today. Spoke once and distributed some of the pamphlets before mentioned. Been troubled all day with a swelled face and toothache. Wrote to my Brother in Honolulu.

February 25th. Spent the day drawing and painting Lu's likeness, and assisted Brother Bell to make a frame for it.

February 26th. Took and painted another likeness. Brother Bell fixed a frame for it. Very short of food.

February 27th. No food at the house. Had to go beg for our food today. Wrote to my Brother C. C. Hurst and Brother William King.

Kalae, February 28th. Met with the Saints at Waialua and then started round the Island to hold conferences. We reached this place long after dark. We found Brother Meyer and wife very well. We soon ate up all the food they had in the house.

February 29th. It poured with rain all day so that we could not proceed on our journey. We fasted till about midday and then we devoured some boiled potatoes. We fairly astonished our host.

Kaualuna, March 1st. It continued raining heavy all night and late this morning. As soon as it cleared up so we could pursue on our journey we started and arrived here about midday. Found Brother Kahupe and the so called brethren and sisters well. As soon as we got the chance we ate up all the food they had and were not then half satisfied. It is astonishing to the natives to see us eat. As soon as the Imu was done we ate an astonishing quantity of potatoes and salt.

Sunday, March 2nd. Met with the Saints before breakfast, had a good meeting. About ten o'clock we met again in the capacity of conference. The Saints felt well and willing to sustain all the authorities, and in Zion. There is at present in this branch, 1 Elder, 2 Priests, 2 Teachers, 3 Deacons and 29 Members. Total 38. Adjourned till 2 o'clock. Brother Bell preached on gathering. I spoke on Joseph Smith and the rise of the Church. Brother Keanu spoke on the blessings of the Gospel. Gave out meeting for Tuesday, etc.

March 3rd. Spent most of the day studying and in the afternoon Brother Bell and I went shell hunting. Spent the evening talking about Captain Cook.

March 4th. Bathed and washed a shirt. Studied. Very short of food, lived on salt and potatoes most of the time.

Kalae, March 5th. After breakfasting off salt and potatoes we left Kaualuna for Kalaekai. We reached this place about four o'clock and found Brother Kaanaalewa well and glad to see us. We got plenty of food here, consisting of fish and potatoes. Spent the evening agreeably talking and singing.

Papahaku, March 6th. We bid Kaanaalewa and family farewell and started for this place. We had heard that two Mormon Elders had beaten and nearly killed a kanaka called Naheana. We called at his house and inquired into the affair. As soon as he saw us coming he came out and met us and shook hands with us. Keanu then asked him concerning the matter, he said it was true. Eli then asked him if he could point them out and he said yes. I was one and Brother King was the other and the one that beat him. I told him he lied; that it was all false. Keanu then said that we had better go to law about it. That frightened the man and he said he did not beat him but pulled the stick out of his hand and threatened to do it. Brother Bell then asked him where the stick was and he said in the house. We told him to fetch it out and show it to us. He then said it was lost and after all Brother W. King only took up the stick to look at it. After cautioning the man not to circulate such lies again we pursued our journey.

We stopped within four miles of this place and had some bananas and sugar cane. We arrived here about four o'clock. Brother Ka Uhane was gone fishing; he returned about nine o'clock, cooked some fish and we suppered about eleven o'clock. Then laid down but alas not to sleep for the fleas were too numerous and hungry.

March 7th. Brother Bell and I went shell hunting but gained nothing but sore feet climbing over the rocks barefoot. In the afternoon we bathed in the sea. Weather very hot.

March 8th. Brother Bell, Keanu, and I had a good swim in the sea. Spent the day studying and collecting shells.

Sunday, March 9th. Met in the capacity of conference at about ten a.m. Brother Bell President, Brother Keanu Clerk. After getting through with the business, Brother Bell addressed the Saints on "The Laws of God". Met again about 2 p.m. Brother Keanu opened the meeting with prayer after which I got up and addressed the Saints on "The Rise of the Church", followed by Keanu on the same subject, and then closed the meeting. We then got something to eat for the first time today.

About sunset we bid the Saints farewell and started for this place. We arrived here about nine o'clock; they had no food cooked and the Saints were in bed and asleep. Brother Laanu arose and lit a fire and cooked us some potatoes and fish, after which we laid down to rest very much fatigued.

March 10th, Waiakane. My foot kept me awake near all night and is still bad. Very little to eat all day. Some rain.

March 11th. This morning Brothers Bell and Keanu started for Waialua. I could not accompany them on account of my foot, though it is getting better. Fasted till night, then got a little potatoes and Fish.

Quite a number of Laanu's friends came from Kaluaho today. They filled the house. I saw I was not wanted so I told them I would start for Waialua, although it was then getting dark. They seemed glad so I bid them farewell and started. I walked about fifteen miles and then reached Pakea, though I took the precaution to stop at a house on the road and get something to eat. I reached Pakea about 11 or 12 o'clock. Brother Laepau and family were astonished to see me at that hour of the night. They had nothing to eat but watermelons. I ate part of a half ripe one and then decided to stay there the rest of the night as my foot was very painful.

I arose with the sun, ate another watermelon and then pursued my journey to Waialua. My foot bothered me some but not more than I could still walk at a good pace. I reached Waialua about 2 o'clock p.m. Could not get anything to eat on the road, and when I got to the house there was nothing to eat there, however, after a bit we got some salt and poi. Brother Bell and Keanu reached this place last night. I was very much vexed to think that our letters had not gone to Oahu.

Waialua, March 13th. Brother Keanu and I attended meeting this morning, Brother Bell stopped at home on account he had no shoes. I spoke encouraging to the Saints, begging for both shoes and food, followed by Brother Keanu. In the evening Brother Kaauwana gave Brother Bell a new pair of boots. I received a letter from Brother J. T. Caine. Reports all well in Honolulu except President Silas Smith who was sick but is getting better.

March 14th. Met with the Saints before breakfast, after which I took Kaauwana's likeness. In the evening Brother Bell and I went to Lupehu and stayed all night with Brother Kuli, and returned this morning and soon after our return I took another likeness.

About five o'clock Brother Maiala and a couple of brethren arrived with the boat and a letter from President Silas Smith, stating that I was to return with the boat to take charge of the Sloap Lanai as Brother Hammond and family and Brother Rice have returned to the valley. We have spent the evening very agreeably talking about Lanai.

Sunday, March 16th. Met with the Saints before breakfast and again at ten a.m. in conference capacity. Cut seven off. The rest felt very well. Met again at 2:00 p.m. and in the evening. Brother Maiala spoke on the gathering; I followed by making my farewell speech in the evening to Brother Keluli and the Saints according to instructions received from President Silas Smith. We partook of the Sacrament.

We begged some mats and succeeded in getting six. After supping of poi and Salt we prepared to start for Lahaina. Bid the Saints farewell. A great many accompanied us to the beach saying: "Aloha, ino a Williama." I shall not try to describe the natives' ejaculations that were poured forth.

We got under way about nine o'clock. A beautiful moonlight night and a light land breeze in our favor. When we got out in the channel the wind dropped and we had to pull. When we reached Maui we caught the land breeze again and reached Lahaina at 3:00 a.m. Found President Silas Smith and S. S. Smith in bed, feeling well and glad to see us.

After refreshing myself with a little salt and poi I laid down to rest in the first bed I had slept in for some time. I almost forgot to state that I was sick coming over in the boat and that I lost my hat overboard.

Lahaina, March 17th. Attended meeting at six o'clock. I spoke on the duties to be performed in this Church, followed by President Silas and S. S. Smith. Very few attended.


It is now near a month since I wrote anything in my journal owing to a variety of unavoidable circumstances.

On the eighteenth of March I went on board the Sloap Lanai; she had just arrived from Kalepalepa with a cargo of potatoes. Owing to the vessel leaking so much they were half rotten. We threw the bad ones overboard, about ten bushels, and took the rest on board two whaling ships lying in the harbor. On Wednesday the 19th we started for Kalepalepa for another load. We arrived there Thursday the 20th, took in 150 bushels of potatoes, got back to Lahaina Saturday the 22nd at 5:30 p.m.

We had not laid there very long when the trade winds began to blow very strong. Brother Rice went ashore to buy provisions, while he was ashore we dragged our anchor. I then let out all the chain I could to keep her to her moorings till Brother Rice got back. He saw the Vessel dragging and came off without the provisions. The wind increased to a hurricane and we soon found we were driving out to sea fast. We tried to get in our anchor but were so short handed, only three of us, Brother Rice, a native Pauana, and myself. There was no alternative but slip the cable. We fixed forty fathoms of new line with a hurry and off we went before the wind to the lee side of the Island of Lanai, there to stop till the gale was over. We got into a small bay called Manila and dropped anchor just before sunset. We had not shackle to the anchor so we had to fix it as well as we could by twisting the chain round the flukes and fastening it with line. We lay pretty snug till about 12 midnight and then found we were dragging our anchor again. Brother Rice got very much excited, crying: "Oh dear, what shall we do, what is the reason the Lord has cursed us in this manner, etc." I said the best thing we could do was to get the anchor up and either put back or else run onto Oahu. We therefore set to work as there was no time to lose. We tried to double back but made no impression; we fixed another block and hoisted away on the main lift. It took us near two hours to get two fathoms and seven hours of hard pulling to fish the anchor. I cannot begin to describe what I suffered with my hands, they got perfectly raw. And to make things worse the Boom swung round and near broke my back. It was so that I could not talk for some time. We reasoned to put back to Manila so we set sail, double reefed Mainsail and Gili we beat up. We were blown off about five miles. Soon after we started back we were caught in a heavy squall which split the Gili about 11 o'clock. We ran closer in shore this time, we lay about 2 hours this time and got blown off again. This time instead of letting out the chain we hauled it in. It took us about 2 or 3 hours hard pulling to get back again and run her in about 2 fathoms of water. This was about the hardest Sunday's work I ever did in my life. We were completely worn out when we got in this last time, for want of food. We had nothing in the world to eat but potatoes and salt. We had to keep a strict watch all night but although the wind was blowing hard we lay pretty snug.

Monday, March 24th. It took us all day to mend and set it up again.

March 25th. Thinking the gale was all over we weighed anchor and started for Lahaina. Soon after we started it fell calm and we had to get the sweeps to work to keep from running on to a reef of rocks. The Lanai boat caught us, it was also going to Lahaina. We took them all on board and tied their boat astern of the Sloap. Soon after we got a breeze which increased to a gale. We soon found it wisdom to put back, we got back about sunset and anchored once more.

March 26th. I was awakened by hearing a great noise on deck between Brother Rice and the native. I got up and went on deck to put a stop to it. The man wanted to go but Brother Rice said he should not go till we got to Lahaina. To settle the dispute I said I would go to Palawai and get some men, accordingly I started. After a walk of three miles I reached the mission House and found Brothers W. Pack, S. Johnson, and William King. All well. I got two men to say they would go. As I was coming back in company with Brother King we met one of them coming back; said he had taken sick on the road and so returned. However, one came and I persuaded Pauana to stay on until we got to Lahaina.

March 27th. We again set sail for Lahaina; arrived there Friday at 5:30 a.m. and spent all day Friday and Saturday discharging our cargo. I would add the vessel had to be pumped every hour.

Elders John Young, H. Richards, W. B. Rogers, and E. Partridge arrived from Hawaii in the evening. I got leave to go on shore as I felt very bad, owing to such hard work and want of food and the accident to my back. That same evening President Silas Smith and five or six Elders started for Lanai to hold Conference on the sixth of April.

March 30th, Sunday. Held three meetings today. I spoke once. Enjoyed ourselves very much.

On the 3rd of April, I, in company with 7 other Elders started for Lanai. We arrived about 4:00 p.m. We all bathed in the sea. We reached Palawai just at dusk, found all the Brethren. I almost forgot to state that my Brother C. C. Hurst arrived from Oahu with Brother George Speires and Thurston. I hardly knew him he had grown so since I saw him last August. He came up as he had left his situation on Saturday. Brothers Caine, Cluff, Young and Lorin arrived from Oahu and Lahaina.

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Pages 54 - 61 in the 1961 edition of the Diary of Frederick William Hurst