Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | April 20, 2013

April 20, 1861

Mary Brewster’s journal for her voyage from 1845 – 1848 ended on March 8, 1848 when the Tiger arrived home (Stonington, CT). Mary and her husband, Samuel did not return to sea for their last voyage until June 1848. However, Mary’s journal-writing did not resume until July 13, 1848.

Mary Lawrence’s journal will resume May 1, 1859.

Eliza Williams made sporadic journal entries from Feb. 27 – May 7, 1861. On April 20th, Eliza wrote: “We have just returned from Honolulu, or I mean to say it is one week since we returned, and this is the first opportunity that I have had to write one word in my book. We have not been very well, any of us. My Husband has had a very bad cold, accompanied with a cough and a severe headache. Willie has been quite unwell with a summer complaint. He was sick one day in Honolulu, but we enjoyed ourselves very well generally. We rode out and had a good view of the place. We went up in what is called the Plains. It is a fine spot and much pleasanter to look at than right in the heart of the City. It is beautiful and green with nice flowers and patches of Yarrow and Bananas growing. It is quite cool up there, but is extremely warm in Honolulu in the middle of the day. It is a pretty place, though, and reminds me much of home. I went out shopping two or three times and thought it a good deal like shopping at home.  I did not have the opportunity of attending Church, as we were not there on the Sabbath. Mr. Damon, the Missionary, and his Wife called on me. I like them much. They gave me a very handsome, bound Friend [the newspaper published by Samuel C. Damon while he was missionary of Honolulu]. There are some handsome buildings in Honolulu. The Sailors’ is a nice one. The King’s Palace is spacious but no great beauty outside. I did not have the pleasure of seeing their Majesty, the King and Queen. Honolulu has an excellent Harbour — perfectly safe. There were quite a number of ships there and a good many smaller Craft. In years past, there have been great numbers of Ships in there, so many that anyone could walk from one to the other. Then there was a good deal of business done at that place, and it was a very noisy place, too, in the Shipping Season, compared to what it is now — so many Sailors congregating together from the different Ships. After being so long on Ship, they would be noisy on shore. Now a good many Ships go to San Francisco. I do not know that I have anything interesting to say more, so will stop scribbling.”  

NOTE: Mrs. Williams noted in a letter that the people of Honolulu were anxious about the situation in the States and were awaiting the newspaper printing of the inaugural address of President Lincoln to learn the policy of the new administration. They thought the fate of the Republic would hang on this.


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