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    An 1853 letter written from Lahania Sandwich Islands in Maui during the outbreak of smallpox, ". . . I think that I shall never see a good many of them again and perhaps none . . ."

    Early Hawaii Autograph Letter Signed, four pages, 7.5" x 9.5", Sandwich Islands, March 1, 1853, written to Edward Masters from his cousin, Samuel L. Masters. The letter reads in part: "Cousin Edward, I have this day transmitted to my Brother Augustus a draft sufficient to cover any doubt that I am in the world. I have directed him after taking up my . . . with John T. to enclose you a check . . . The balance you will pay over to my friend Wm Newcomb - he let me have a pair of new boots when I was barefooted and I wish to pay him . . . for them he is poor & sick but . . . hearted & wish he was worth one hundred thousand dollars he would do so much good with . . . I read a letter from Wm. Newcomb dated 1st February he said nothing in relation to the Schaqhtioch people - I felt anxious to hear - and I sometimes feel sad . . . I think that I shall never see a good many of them again and perhaps none . . . My courtroom is in the same building where the Supreme Court is held which is a much more costly & larger courtroom than the . . . it was originally built for the King's palace . . . and I preside with all the dignity imaginable listening to the arguments . . . and I have got so now that I understand all the ropes - and technical phrases and get along first rate, I generally get through with my court business by eleven or twelve o'clock and the remaining part of the day nothing to do . . . and the missionaries all look to me to punish all immigrants and . . . I have to carry my leniency straight strictly to talk & etc. etc. . . ." Sandwich Islands was founded in 1778 by Captain James Cook and named after his friend, John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. In 1810, the Hawaiian Islands were united for the first time under the rule of King Kamehameha the Great. He established the House of Kamehameha, a dynasty that ruled over the kingdom until 1872. Missionaries cared for the sick and dying in Hawaii during outbreaks of measles and whooping cough in 1848 and smallpox in 1853. At the same time, others of the Mission fought the spread of disease by working to establish healthy practices. The work of the Mission was not limited to the Hawaiian Islands. At the request of the Mission Board in Massachusetts, a small contingent of missionaries stationed at the Honolulu Mission Station was called to the distant islands of the Marquesas. This letter is in very good condition.

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