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Title: Northern California, Oregon, and the Sandwich Islands
Author: Nordhoff, Charles, 1830-1901
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Northern California, Oregon, and the Sandwich Islands" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

[Transcriber's Notes: The following words are noted as having changed
between the publication of this book and the year 2004: 'Nuuanu
Valley', versus 'Nuanu'; 'lei', vs. 'le' for a flower garland; 'holoku'
vs. 'holaku' for a Hawaiian black dress; 'Wailua', vs. 'Waialua';
'Kealakekua Bay' vs. 'Kealakeakua'; 'Kahului' vs. 'Kaului'; 'kuleana'
vs. 'kuliana' for a small land-holding; 'kulolo' vs. 'kuulaau' for a
taro pudding; 'piele' vs. 'paalolo' for a sweet-potato and coconut
pudding; 'Koa' trees vs. 'Ko'; 'Sausalito' vs. 'Soucelito'; 'Klickitat',
vs. 'Klikatat'; and 'Mount Rainier' vs. 'Mount Regnier'.

Also, in chapter 1, the author mis-stated information on taro fields;
it should say that a square forty feet on each side will support a
person for a year; this is equivalent to a square mile feeding 15,000.

An explanation of footnotes in the Appendix: The book has both footnotes
at the bottom of each page, to which I assigned letters, and four pages
of notes at the end of the Appendix. The latter includes comments by
the translator in brackets, therefore these notes, which use numbers,
will not be enclosed in the normal [Footnote: ] brackets to avoid any
confusion. The lettered footnotes follow the numbered notes at the













Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1874, by


In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.





The favor with which my previous volume on California was received by the
public induced me to prepare the present volume, which concerns itself,
as the title sufficiently shows, with the northern parts of California,
Oregon (including a journey through Washington Territory to Victoria, in
Vancouver's Island), and the Sandwich Islands.

I have endeavored, as before, to give plain and circumstantial details,
such as would interest and be of use to travelers for pleasure or
information, and enable the reader to judge of the climate, scenery,
and natural resources of the regions I visited; to give, in short, such
information as I myself would like to have had in my possession before
I made the journey.

Since this book went to press, Lunalilo, the King of the Sandwich Islands,
has died of rapid consumption; and his successor is the Hon. David
Kalakaua, a native chief, who has been prominent in the political affairs
of the Islands, and was the rival of the late king after the death of
Kamehameha V. Colonel Kalakaua is a man of education, of better physical
stamina than the late king, of good habits, vigorous will, and a strong
determination to maintain the independence of the Islands, in which he is
supported by the people, who are of like mind with him on this point. His
portrait is given on the next leaf.

[Illustration: KING KALAKAUA.]
















       *       *       *       *       *





























       *       *       *       *       *










































































































       *       *       *       *       *



The Hawaiian group consists, as you will see on the map, of eleven
islands, of which Hawaii is the largest and Molokini the smallest. The
islands together contain about 6000 square miles; and Hawaii alone has an
area of nearly 4000 square miles, Maui 620, Oahu (which contains Honolulu,
the capital) 530, and Kauai 500. Lanai, Kahoolawe, Molokai, Niihau,
Kaula, Lehua, and Molokini are small islands. All are of volcanic
origin, mountainous, and Hawaii contains the largest active crater in the
world--Kilauea--one of the craters of Mauna Loa; while Maui contains
the largest known extinct crater, Haleakala, the House of the Sun--a pit
thirty miles in circumference and two thousand feet deep. Mauna Loa and
Mauna Kea are nearly 14,000 feet high, as high as Mount Grey in Colorado;
and you can not ride anywhere in the islands without seeing extinct
craters, of which the hill called Diamond Head, near Honolulu, is an


The voyage from San Francisco to Honolulu is now very comfortably made in
one of the Pacific Mail Company's steamers, which plies regularly between
the two ports, and makes a round trip once in every month. The voyage down
to the Islands lasts from eight to nine days, and even to persons subject
to sea-sickness is likely to be an enjoyable sea-journey, because after
the second day the weather is charmingly warm, the breezes usually mild,
and the skies sunny and clear. In forty-eight hours after you leave
the Golden Gate, shawls, overcoats, and wraps are discarded. You put on
thinner clothing. After breakfast you will like to spread rugs on deck
and lie in the sun, fanned by deliciously soft winds; and before you see
Honolulu you will, even in winter, like to have an awning spread over you
to keep off the sun. When they seek a tropical climate, our brethren on
the Pacific coast have to endure no such rough voyage as that across
the Atlantic. On the way you see flying-fish, and if you are lucky an
occasional whale or a school of porpoises, but no ships. It is one of the
loneliest of ocean tracks, for sailing-vessels usually steer farther north
to catch stronger gales. But you sail over the lovely blue of the Pacific
Ocean, which has not only softer gales but even a different shade of color
than the fierce Atlantic.

We made the land at daylight on the tenth day of the voyage, and by
breakfast-time were steaming through the Molokai Channel, with the high,
rugged, and bare volcanic cliffs of Oahu close aboard, the surf beating
vehemently against the shore. An hour later we rounded Diamond Head, and
sailing past Waikiki, which is the Long Branch of Honolulu charmingly
placed amidst groves of cocoa-nut-trees, turned sharp about, and steamed
through a narrow channel into the landlocked little harbor of Honolulu,
smooth as a mill-pond.

It is not until you are almost within the harbor that you get a fair view
of the city, which lies embowered in palms and fine tamarind-trees, with
the tall fronds of the banana peering above the low-roofed houses; and
thus the tropics come after all somewhat suddenly upon you; for the
land which you have skirted all the morning is by no means tropical in
appearance, and the cocoa-nut groves of Waikiki will disappoint you on
their first and too distant view, which gives them the insignificant
appearance of tall reeds. But your first view of Honolulu, that from the
ship's deck, is one of the pleasantest you can get: it is a view of gray
house-tops, hidden in luxuriant green, with a background of volcanic
mountains three or four thousand feet high, and an immediate foreground of
smooth harbor, gay with man-of-war boats, native canoes and flags, and
the wharf, with ladies in carriages, and native fruit-venders in what will
seem to you brightly colored night-gowns, eager to sell you a feast of
bananas and oranges.

There are several other fine views of Honolulu, especially that from the
lovely Nuanu Valley, looking seaward over the town, and one from the roof
of the prison, which edifice, clean, roomy, and in the day-time empty
because the convicts are sent out to labor on public works and roads, has
one of the finest situations in the town's limits, directly facing the
Nuanu Valley.

From the steamer you proceed to a surprisingly excellent hotel, which was
built at a cost of about $120,000, and is owned by the government.
You will find it a large building, affording all the conveniences of a
first-class hotel in any part of the world. It is built of a concrete
stone made on the spot, of which also the new Parliament House is
composed; and as it has roomy, well-shaded court-yards and deep, cool
piazzas, and breezy halls and good rooms, and baths and gas, and a
billiard-room, you might imagine yourself in San Francisco, were it not
that you drive in under the shade of cocoa-nut, tamarind, guava, and
algeroba trees, and find all the doors and windows open in midwinter; and
ladies and children in white sitting on the piazzas.


It is told in Honolulu that the building of this hotel cost two of the
late king's cabinet, Mr. Harris and Dr. Smith, their places. The Hawaiian
people are economical, and not very enterprising; they dislike debt, and
a considerable part of the Hawaiian national debt was contracted to build
this hotel. You will feel sorry for Messrs. Harris and Smith, who were for
many years two of the ablest members of the Hawaiian cabinet, but you will
feel grateful for their enterprise also, when you hear that before this
hotel was completed--that is to say, until 1871--a stranger landing in
Honolulu had either to throw himself on the hospitality of the citizens,
take his lodgings in the Sailors' Home, or go back to his ship. It is not
often that cabinet ministers fall in so good a cause, or incur the public
displeasure for an act which adds so much to the comfort of mankind.

The mercury ranges between 68° and 81° in the winter months and
between 75° and 86° during the summer, in Honolulu. The mornings are
often a little overcast until about half-past nine, when it clears
away bright. The hottest part of the day is before noon. The
trade-wind usually blows, and when it does it is always cool; with a
south wind; it is sometimes sultry, though the heat is never nearly so
oppressive as in July and August in New York. In fact, a New Yorker
whom I met in the Islands in August congratulated himself as much on
having escaped the New York summer as others did on having avoided the

The nights are cool enough for sound rest, but not cold.

It is not by any means a torrid climate, and it has, perhaps, the
fewest daily extremes of any pleasant climate in the world. For
instance, the mercury ranged in January between 69° at 7 A.M., 75-1/2°
at 2 P.M., and 71-1/2° at 10 P.M. The highest temperature in that month
was 78°, and the lowest 68°. December and January are usually the
coolest months in the year at Honolulu, but the variation is extremely
slight for the whole year, the maximum of the warmest day in July
(still at Honolulu) being only 86°, and this at noon, and the lowest
mark being 62°, in the early morning in December. A friend of mine
resident during twenty years in the Islands has never had a blanket in
his house.

It is said that the climate is an excellent one for consumptives, and
physicians here point to numerous instances of the kindly and healing
effect of the mild air. At the same time, I suspect it must in the
long-run be a little debilitating to Americans. It is a charming climate
for children; and as sea-bathing is possible and pleasant at all times,
those who derive benefit from this may here enjoy it to the fullest extent
during all the winter months as well as in the summer.

Of course you wear thin, but not the thinnest, clothing. White is
appropriate to the climate; but summer flannels are comfortable in winter.
The air is never as sultry as in New York in July or August, and the
heat is by no means oppressive, there being almost always a fresh breeze.
Honolulu has the reputation of being the hottest place on the islands,
and a walk through its streets at midday quickly tires one; but in a
mountainous country like this you may choose your temperature, of course.
The summits of the highest peaks on Hawaii are covered with almost
perpetual snow; and there are sugar planters who might sit around a fire
every night in the year.

Unlike California, the Islands have no special rainy season, though
rain is more abundant in winter than during the summer months. But the
trade-wind, which is also the rain-wind, greatly controls the rain-fall;
and it is useful for visitors to bear in mind that on the weather side
of every one of the Islands--that side exposed to the wind--rains are
frequent, while on the lee side the rain-fall is much less, and in some
places there is scarcely any. Thus an invalid may get at will either a dry
or moist climate, and this often by moving but a few miles. Not only is
it true that at Hilo it sometimes rains for a month at a time, while at
Lahaina they have a shower only about once in eighteen months; but you may
_see_ it rain every day from the hotel piazza in Honolulu, though you get
not a drop in the city itself; for in the Nuanu and Manoa valleys there
are showers every day in the year--the droppings of fragments of clouds
which have been blown over the mountain summits; and if you cross the Pali
to go the windward side of the island, though you set out from Honolulu
amidst brilliant sunshine which will endure there all day unchanged, you
will not ride three miles without needing a mackintosh. But the residents,
knowing that during the greater part of the year the showers are light and
of brief duration, take no precautions against them; and indeed an island
shower seems to be harmless to any one but an invalid, for it is not a
climate in which one easily "takes cold."

The very slight changes in temperature between day and night make the
climate agreeable, and I think useful, to persons in tender health. But I
do not believe it can be safely recommended for all cases of consumption.
If the patient has the disease fully developed, and if it has been
caused by lack of nutrition, I should think the island air likely to be
insufficiently bracing. For persons who have "weak lungs" merely, but no
actual disease, it is probably a good and perfectly safe climate; and if
sea-bathing is part of your physician's prescription, it can, as I said
before, be enjoyed in perfection here by the tenderest body all the year


Honolulu, being the capital of the kingdom, contains the government
offices; and you will perhaps be surprised, as I was, to find an excellent
public hospital, a reform school, and other proper and well-managed
charities. When you have visited these and some of the numerous schools
and the native churches, and have driven or ridden to Waikiki for a
sea-bath, and have seen the Nuanu Valley and the precipice called the
Pali, if you are American, and familiar with New England, it will be
revealed to you that the reason why all the country looks so familiar
to you is that it is really a very accurate reproduction of New
England country scenery. The white frame houses with green blinds, the
picket-fences whitewashed until they shine, the stone walls, the small
barns, the scanty pastures, the little white frame churches scattered
about, the narrow "front yards," the frequent school-houses, usually with
but little shade: all are New England, genuine and unadulterated; and
you have only to eliminate the palms, the bananas, and other tropical
vegetation, to have before you a fine bit of Vermont or the stonier parts
of Massachusetts. The whole scene has no more breadth nor freedom about it
than a petty New England village, but it is just as neat, trim, orderly,
and silent also. There is even the same propensity to put all the
household affairs under one roof which was born of a severe climate in
Massachusetts, but has been brought over to these milder suns by the
incorrigible Puritans who founded this bit of civilization.


In fact, the missionaries have left an indelible mark upon these islands.
You do not need to look deep to know that they were men of force, men of
the same kind as they who have left an equally deep impress upon so large
a part of our Western States; men and women who had formed their own lives
according to certain fixed and immutable rules, who knew no better country
than New England, nor any better ways than New England ways, and to
whom it never occurred to think that what was good and sufficient in
Massachusetts was not equally good and fit in any part of the world.
Patiently, and somewhat rigorously, no doubt, they sought from the
beginning to make New England men and women of these Hawaiians; and what
is wonderful is that, to a large extent, they have succeeded.

As you ride about the suburbs of Honolulu, and later as you travel about
the islands, more and more you will be impressed with a feeling of respect
and admiration for the missionaries. Whatever of material prosperity has
grown up here is built on their work, and could not have existed but for
their preceding labors; and you see in the spirit of the people, in their
often quaint habits, in their universal education, in all that makes these
islands peculiar and what they are, the marks of the Puritans who came
here but fifty years ago to civilize a savage nation, and have done their
work so thoroughly that, even though the Hawaiian people became extinct,
it would require a century to obliterate the way-marks of that handful of
determined New England men and women.

[Illustration: COURT-HOUSE, HONOLULU.]

Their patient and effective labors seem to me, now that I have seen the
results, to have been singularly undervalued at home. No intelligent
American can visit the islands and remain there even a month, without
feeling proud that the civilization which has here been created in so
marvelously short a time was the work of his country men and women; and if
you make the acquaintance of the older missionary families, you will not
leave them without deep personal esteem for their characters, as well as
admiration of their work. They did not only form a written language
for the Hawaiian race, and painfully write for them school-books, a
dictionary, and a translation of the Scriptures and of a hymn-book; they
did not merely gather the people in churches and their children into
schools; but they guided the race, slowly and with immense difficulty,
toward Christian civilization; and though the Hawaiian is no more a
perfect Christian than the New Yorker or Massachusetts man, and
though there are still traces of old customs and superstitions, these
missionaries have eradicated the grosser crimes of murder and theft so
completely, that even in Honolulu people leave their houses open all
day and unlocked all night, without thought of theft; and there is not a
country in the world where the stranger may travel in such absolute safety
as in these islands.

The Hawaiian, or Sandwich Islands, were discovered--or rediscovered, as
some say--by Captain Cook, in January, 1778, a year and a half after
our Declaration of Independence. The inhabitants were then what we call
savages--that is to say, they wore no more clothing than the climate
made necessary, and knew nothing of the Christian religion. In the
period between 1861 and 1865 this group had in the Union armies a
brigadier-general, a major, several other officers, and more than one
hundred private soldiers and seamen, and its people contributed to the
treasury of the Sanitary Commission a sum larger than that given by most
of our own States.

[Illustration: MRS. LUCY G. THURSTON.]

In 1820 the first missionaries landed on the shores of these islands, and
Mrs. Lucy G. Thurston, one of those who came in that year, still lives, a
bright, active old lady, with a shrewd wit of her own. Thirty-three years
afterward, in 1853, the American Board of Missions determined that "the
Sandwich Islands, having been Christianized, shall no longer receive aid
from the Board;" and in this year, 1873, the natives of these islands
are, there is reason to believe, the most generally educated people in the
world. There is scarcely a Hawaiian--man, woman, or child--of suitable
age but can both read and write. All the towns and many country localities
possess substantial stone or, more often, framed churches, of the oddest
New England pattern; and a compulsory education law draws every child into
the schools, while a special tax of two dollars on every voter, and an
additional general tax, provide schools and teachers for all the children
and youth.


Nine hundred and three thousand dollars were given by Christian people in
the United States during thirty-five years to accomplish this result; and
to-day the islands themselves support a missionary society, which sends
the Gospel in the hands of native missionaries into other islands at its
own cost, and not only supports more than a dozen "foreign" missionaries,
but translates parts of the Bible into other Polynesian tongues.

Nor was exile from their homes and kindred the only privation the
missionaries suffered. They came among a people so vile that they had not
even a conception of right and wrong; so prone to murder and pillage that
the first Kamehameha, the conqueror, gave as excuse for his conquest that
it was necessary to make the paths safe; so debauched in their common
conversation that the earlier missionaries were obliged for years rigidly
to forbid their own children not only from acquaintance with the natives
among whom they lived, but even from learning the native language, because
to hear only the passing speech of their neighbors was to suffer the
grossest contamination.

Of those who began this good work but few now remain. Most of them have
gone to their reward, having no doubt suffered, as well as accomplished,
much. Of the first band who came out from the United States, the only one
living in 1873 is Mrs. Lucy G. Thurston, a bright, active, and lively old
lady of seventy-five years, who drives herself to church on Sundays in a
one-horse chaise, and has her own opinions of passing events. How she has
lived in the tropics for fifty years without losing even an atom of the
New England look puzzles you; but it shows you also the strength which
these people brought with them, the tenacity with which they clung
to their habits of dress and living and thought, the remorseless
determination which they imported, with their other effects, around Cape

[Illustration: DR. JUDD.]

Then there was Dr. Judd, who has died since these lines were written, who
came out as physician to the mission, and proved himself in the islands,
as the world knows, a very able man, with statesmanship for some great
emergencies which made him for years one of the chief advisers of the
Hawaiian kings. It was to me a most touching sight to see, on a Sunday
after church, Mrs. Thurston, his senior by many years but still alert
and vigorous, taking hold of his hand and tenderly helping him out of the
church and to his carriage.

[Illustration: DR. COAN.]

And in Hilo, when you go to visit the volcano, you will find Dr. Coan, one
of the brightest and loveliest spirits of them, all, the story of whose
life in the remote island whose apostle he was, is as wonderful and as
touching as that of any of the earlier apostles, and shows what great
works unyielding faith and love can do in redeeming a savage people. When
Dr. and Mrs. Coan came to the island of Hawaii, its shores and woods were
populous; and through their labors and those of the Reverend Mr. Lyman
and one or two others, thousands of men and women were instructed in
the truths of Christianity, inducted into civilized habits of life, and
finally brought into the church.

As you sail along the green coast of Hawaii from its northern point to
Hilo, you will be surprised at the number of quaint little white churches
which mark the distances almost with the regularity of mile-stones; if,
later, you ride through this district or the one south of Hilo, you will
see that for every church there is also a school-house; you will see
native children reading and writing as well as our own at home; you may
hear them singing tunes familiar in our own Sunday-schools; you will see
the native man and woman sitting down to read their newspaper at the close
of day; and if you could talk with them, you would find they knew almost
as much about our late war as you do, for they took an intense interest in
the war of the rebellion. And you must remember that when, less than forty
years ago, Dr. and Mrs. Coan came to Hilo, the people were naked savages,
with but one church and one school-house in the district, and almost
without printed books or knowledge of reading. They flocked to hear the
Gospel. Thousands removed from a distance to Hilo, where, in their
rapid way, they built up a large town, and kept up surely the strangest
"protracted meeting" ever held; and going back to their homes after many
months, they took with them knowledge and zeal to build up Christian
churches and schools of their own.

Over these Dr. Coan has presided these many years; not only preaching
regularly on Sundays and during the week in the large native church at
Hilo, and in two or three neighboring churches, but visiting the more
distant churches at intervals to examine and instruct the members, and
keep them all on the right track. He has seen a region very populous
when he first came to it decrease until it has now many more deserted and
ruined house-places than inhabited dwellings; but, also, he has seen a
great population turned from darkness to light, a considerable part of it
following his own blameless and loving life as an example, and very many
living to old age steadfast and zealous Christians.

On your first Sunday at Honolulu you will probably attend one or other of
the native churches. They are commodious buildings, well furnished; and a
good organ, well played, will surprise you. Sunday is a very quiet day in
the Islands: they are a church-going people, and the empty seats in
the Honolulu native churches give you notice of the great decrease in
population since these were built.

[Illustration: BETHEL CHURCH.]

If you go to hear preaching in your own language, it will probably be to
the Seamen's Chapel where the Rev. Mr. Damon preaches--one of the oldest
and one of the best-known residents of Honolulu. This little chapel was
brought around Cape Horn in pieces, in a whale-ship many years ago, and
was, I believe, the first American church set up in these islands. It is
a curious old relic, and has seen many changes. Mr. Damon has lived here
since 1846 a most zealous and useful life as seamen's chaplain. He is, in
his own field, a true and untiring missionary, and to his care the port
owes a clean and roomy Seamen's Home, a valuable little paper, _The
Friend_, which was for many years the chief reading of the whalemen who
formerly crowded the ports of Hawaii; and help in distress, and fatherly
advice, and unceasing kindness at all times to a multitude of seamen
during nearly thirty years. The sailors, who quickly recognize a genuine
man, have dubbed him "Father Damon;" and he deserves, what he has long
had, their confidence and affection.

[Illustration: DR. DAMON.]

The charitable and penal institutions of Honolulu are quickly seen, and
deserve a visit. They show the care with which the Government has looked
after the welfare of the people. The Queen's Hospital is an admirably
kept house. At the Reform School you will see a number of boys trained and
educated in right ways. The prison not only deserves a visit for itself,
but from its roof you obtain, as I said before, one of the best views of
Honolulu and the adjacent country and ocean.


Then there are native schools, elementary and academic, where you will see
the young Hawaiian at his studies, and learn to appreciate the industry
and thoroughness with which education is carried on all over these
islands. You will see also curious evidence of the mixture of races here;
for on the benches sit, and in the classes recite, Hawaiian, Chinese,
Portuguese, half white and half Chinese children; and the little
pig-tailed Celestial reads out of his primer quite as well as any.


In the girls' schools you will see an occasional pretty face, but fewer
than I expected to see; and to my eyes the Hawaiian girl is rarely very
attractive. Among the middle-aged women, however, you often meet with fine
heads and large, expressive features. The women have not unfrequently
a majesty of carriage and a tragic intensity of features and expression
which are quite remarkable. Their loose dress gives grace as well as
dignity to their movements, and whoever invented it for them deserves
more credit than he has received. It is a little startling at first to see
women walking about in what, to our perverted tastes, look like calico
or black stuff night-gowns; but the dress grows on you as you become
accustomed to it; it lends itself readily to bright ornamentation; it
is eminently fit for the climate; and a stately Hawaiian dame, marching
through the street in black _holaku_--as the dress is called--with a long
necklace, or _le_, of bright scarlet or brilliant yellow flowers, bare and
untrammeled feet, and flowing hair, surmounted often by a low-crowned
felt hat, compares very favorably with a high-heeled, wasp-waisted,
absurdly-bonneted, fashionable white lady.


As you travel through the country, you see not unfrequently one of
the tall, majestic, large women, who were formerly, it is said by old
residents, more numerous than now. I have been assured by several persons
that the race has dwindled in the last half century; and all old residents
speak with admiration of the great stature and fine forms of the chiefs
and their wives in the early days. It does not appear that these chiefs
were a distinct race, but they were despotic rulers of the common people;
and their greater stature is attributed by those who should know to their
being nourished on better food, and to easier circumstances and more
favorable surroundings.

When you have seen Honolulu and the Nuanu Valley, and bathed and drunk
cocoa-nut milk at Waikiki, you will be ready for a charming excursion--the
ride around the Island of Oahu. For this you should take several days. It
is most pleasantly made by a party of three or four persons, and ladies,
if they can sit in the saddle at all, can very well do it. You should
provide yourself with a pack-mule, which will carry not only spare
clothing but some provisions; and your guide ought to take care of your
horses and be able, if necessary, to cook you a lunch. The ride is easily
done in four days, and you will sleep every night at a plantation or farm.
The roads are excellent for riding, and carriages have made the journey.
It is best to set out by way of Pearl River and return by the Pali,
as thus you have the trade-wind in your face all the way. If you are
accustomed to ride, and can do thirty miles a day, you should sleep the
first night at or near Waialua, the next at or near what is called
the Mormon Settlement, and on the third day ride into Honolulu.

If ladies are of your party, and the stages must be shorter, you can
ride the first day to Ewa, which is but ten miles; the next, to Waialua,
eighteen miles further; the third, to the neighborhood of Kahuku, twelve
miles; thence to Kahana, fifteen miles; thence to Kaalaea, twelve miles;
and the next day carries you, by an easy ride of thirteen miles, into
Honolulu. Any one who can sit on a horse at all will enjoy this excursion,
and receive benefit from it; the different stages of it are so short that
each day's work is only a pleasure. On the way you will see, near Ewa,
the Pearl Lochs, which it has recently been proposed to cede as a
naval station to the United States; and near Waialua an interesting
boarding-school for Hawaiian girls, in which they are taught not only
in the usual school studies, but in sewing, and the various arts of the
housewife. If you are curious to see the high valley in which the famous
Waialua oranges are grown, you must take a day for that purpose. Between
Kahuku and Kahana it is worth while to make a detour into the mountains to
see the Kaliawa Falls, which are a very picturesque sight. The rock, at a
height of several hundred feet, has been curiously worn by the water into
the shape of a canoe. Here, also, the precipitous walls are covered
with masses of fine ferns. At Kahana, and also at Koloa, you will see
rice-fields, which are cultivated by Chinese. You pass also on your road
several sugar-plantations; and if it is the season of sugar-boiling,
you will be interested in this process. For miles you ride along the
sea-shore, and your guide will lead you to proper places for a midday
bath, preliminary to your lunch.

After leaving the Mormon Settlement, the scenery becomes very grand--it
is, indeed, as fine as any on the Islands, and compares well with any
scenery in the world. That it can be seen without severe toil gives it,
for such people as myself, no slight advantage over some other scenery
in these Islands and elsewhere, access to which can be gained only
by toilsome and disagreeable journeys. There is a blending of sea and
mountain which will dwell in your memory as not oppressively grand, and
yet fine enough to make you thankful that Providence has made the world so
lovely and fair.

As you approach the Pali, the mountain becomes a sheer precipice for some
miles, broken only by the gorge of the Pali, up which, if you are prudent,
you will walk, letting your horses follow with the guide--though Hawaiian
horsemen ride both up and down, and have been known to gallop down the
stone-paved and slippery steep. As you look up at these tall, gloomy
precipices, you will see one of the peculiarities of a Sandwich Island
landscape. The rocks are not bare, but covered from crown to base with
moss and ferns; and these cling so closely to the surface that to your
eye they seem to be but a short, close-textured green fuzz. In fact, these
great rocks, thus adorned, reminded me constantly of the rock scenery in
such operas as Fra Diavolo; the dark green being of a shade which I do
not remember to have seen before in nature, though it is not uncommon in
theatrical scenery.

The grass remains green, except in the dry districts, all the year round;
and the common grass of the Islands is the _maniania_, a fine creeping
grass which covers the ground with a dense velvety mat; and where it is
kept short by sheep makes an admirable springy lawn. It has a fine deep
color and bears drought remarkably well; and it is the favorite pasture
grass of the Islands. I do not think it as fattening as the alfilleria of
Southern California or our own timothy or blue grass; but it is a valuable
grass to the stockmen, because it eats out every other and less valuable

On your journey around Oahu you need a guide who can speak some English;
you must take with you on the pack-mule provisions for the journey; and
it is well to have a blanket for each of your party. You will sleep each
night in a native house, unless, as is very likely to be the case, you
have invitations to stop at plantation houses on your way. At the native
houses they will kill a chicken for you, and cook taro; but they have
no other supplies. You can usually get cocoa-nuts, whose milk is very
wholesome and refreshing. The journey is like a somewhat prolonged picnic;
the air is mild and pure; and you need no heavy clothing, for you are sure
of bright sunny weather.

For your excursions near Honolulu, and for the adventure I have described,
you can hire horses; though if you mean to stay a month or two it is
better to buy. A safe and good horse, well saddled and bridled, brought to
you every morning at the hotel, costs you a dollar a day. In that case
you have no care or responsibility for the animal. But unless there are
men-of-war in port you can buy a sufficiently good riding-horse for from
twelve to twenty-five dollars, and get something of your investment back
when you leave; and you can buy saddles and all riding-gear cheaply in
Honolulu. The maintenance of a horse in town costs not over fifty cents
per day.

Your guide for a journey ought to cost you a dollar a day, which includes
his horse; when you stop for the day he unsaddles your horses and ties
them out in a grass-field where they get sufficient nourishment. For your
accommodation at a native house, you ought to pay fifty cents for each
person of your party, including the guide. The proprietor of the Honolulu
hotel is very obliging and readily helps you to make all arrangements for
horses and guides; and if you have brought any letters of introduction, or
make acquaintances in the place, you will find every body ready to assist
you. Riding is the pleasantest way of getting about; but on Oahu the roads
are sufficiently good to drive considerable distances, and carriages are
easily obtainable.

One of the pleasant surprises which meet a northern traveler in these
islands is the number of strange dishes which appear on the table and in
the bill of fare. Strawberries, oranges--the sweetest and juiciest I have
eaten anywhere, except perhaps in Rio de Janeiro--bananas and cocoa-nuts,
you have at will; but besides these there are during the winter months the
guava, very nice when it is sliced like a tomato and eaten with sugar and
milk; taro, which is the potato of the country and, in the shape of poi,
the main subsistence of the native Hawaiian; bread-fruit; flying-fish,
the most tender and succulent of the fish kind; and, in their season,
the mango, the custard-apple, the alligator-pear, the water-melon, the
rose-apple, the ohia, and other fruits.

Taro, when baked, is an excellent and wholesome vegetable, and from its
leaves is cooked a fine substitute for spinach, called _luau_. Poi also
appears on your hotel table, being the national dish, of which many
foreigners have become very fond. It is very fattening and easily
digested, and is sometimes prescribed by physicians to consumptives.
As you drive about the suburbs of Honolulu you will see numerous taro
patches, and may frequently see the natives engaged in the preparation of
poi, which consists in baking the root or tuber in underground ovens, and
then mashing it very fine, so that if dry it would be a flour. It is
then mixed with water, and for native use left to undergo a slight
fermentation. Fresh or unfermented poi has a pleasant taste; when
fermented it tastes to me like book-binder's paste, and a liking for it
must be acquired rather than natural, I should say, with foreigners.

[Illustration: HAWAIIAN POI DEALER.]

So universal is its use among the natives that the manufacture of poi is
carried on now by steam-power and with Yankee machinery, for the sugar
planters; and the late king, who was avaricious and a trader, incurred the
dislike of his native subjects by establishing a poi-factory of his own
near Honolulu. Poi is sold in the streets in calabashes, but it is also
shipped in considerable quantities to other islands, and especially to
guano islands which lie southward and westward of this group. On these
lonely islets, many of which have not even drinking-water for the laborers
who live on them, poi and fish are the chief if not the only articles of
food. The fish, of course, are caught on the spot, but poi, water, salt,
and a few beef cattle for the use of the white superintendents are carried
from here.

Taro is a kind of _arum_. It grows, unlike any other vegetable I know of
unless it be rice, entirely under water. A taro patch is surrounded by
embankments; its bottom is of puddled clay; and in this the cutting, which
is simply the top of the plant with a little of the tuber, is set. The
plants are set out in little clumps in long rows, and a man at work in a
taro patch stands up to his knees in water. Forty square feet of taro, it
is estimated, will support a person for a year, and a square mile of
taro will feed over 15,000 Hawaiians.

[Illustration: THE PALACE, HONOLULU.]

By-the-way, you will hear the natives say _kalo_ when they speak of taro;
and by this and other words in common use you will presently learn of
a curious obliquity in their hearing. A Hawaiian does not notice any
difference in the sounds of _r_ and _l_, of _k_ and _t_, or of _b_, _p_,
and _f_. Thus the Pali, or precipice near Honolulu, is spoken of as the
Pari; the island of Kauai becomes to a resident of it Tauwai, though a
native of Oahu calls it Kauai; taro is almost universally called _kalo_;
and the common salutation, _Aloha_, which means "Love to you," and is the
national substitute for "How do you do?" is half the time _Aroha_; Lanai
is indifferently called Ranai; and Mauna Loa is in the mouths of most
Hawaiians Mauna Roa. Indeed, in the older charts the capital of the
kingdom is called Honoruru.

Society in Honolulu possesses some peculiar features, owing in part to the
singularly isolated situation of this little capital, and partly to the
composition of the social body. Honolulu is a capital city unconnected
with any other place in the world by telegraph, having a mail once a month
from San Francisco and New Zealand, and dependent during the remainder of
the month upon its own resources. To a New Yorker, who gets his news hot
and hot all day and night, and can't go to sleep without first looking
in at the Fifth Avenue Hotel to hear the latest item, this will seem
deplorable enough; but you have no idea how charming, how pleasant, how
satisfactory it is for a busy or overworked man to be thus for a while
absolutely isolated from affairs; to feel that for a month at least the
world must get on without your interfering hand; and though you may dread
beforehand this enforced separation from politics and business, you will
find it very pleasant in the actual experience.

As you stand upon the wharf in company with the élite of the kingdom to
watch the steamer depart, a great burden falls from your soul, because for
a month to come you have not the least responsibility for what may happen
in any part of the planet. Looking up at the black smoke of the departing
ship, you say to yourself, "Who cares?" Let what will happen, you are not
responsible. And so, with a light heart and an easy conscience, you get
on your horse (price $15), and about the time the lady passengers on the
steamer begin to turn green in face, you are sitting down on a spacious
_lanai_ or veranda, in one of the most delightful sea-side resorts in the
world, with a few friends who have determined to celebrate by a dinner
this monthly recurrence of their non-intercourse with the world.


The people are surprisingly hospitable and kind and know how to make
strangers at home; they have leisure, and know how to use it pleasantly;
the climate controls their customs in many respects, and nothing is
pursued at fever heat as with us. What strikes you, when you have found
your way into Honolulu society and looked around, is a certain sensible
moderation and simplicity which is in part, I suspect, a remainder of the
old missionary influence; there is a certain amount of formality, which
is necessary to keep society from deteriorating, but there is no striving
after effect; there are, so far as a stranger discovers, no petty cliques
or cabals or coteries, and there is a very high average of intelligence:
they care about the best things.

They know how to dine; and having good cooks and sound digestions, they
add to these one requisite to pleasant dining which some more pretentious
societies are without: they have leisure. Nothing is done in haste in
Honolulu, where they have long ago convinced themselves that "to-morrow is
another day." Moreover, you find them well-read, without being blue; they
have not muddled their history by contradictory telegraphic reports of
matters of no consequence; in fact, so far as recent events are concerned,
they stand on tolerably firm ground, having perused only the last monthly
record of current events. Consequently, they have had time to read and
enjoy the best books; to follow with an intelligent interest the most
notable passing events; and as most of them come from families or have
lived among people who have had upon their own shoulders some conscious
share of government, political, moral, or religious, these talkers are
not pedantic, but agreeable. As to the ladies, you find them charming;
beautifully dressed, of course, but they have not given the whole day
and their whole minds to the dress; they are cheerful, easily excited to
gayety, long accustomed to take life easily, and eating as though they did
not know what dyspepsia was.

Indeed, when you have passed a month in the Islands you will have a better
opinion of idleness than you had before, though in some respects the odd
effects of a tropical climate will hardly meet your approval. Euchre,
for instance, takes the place here which whist holds elsewhere as the
amusement of sensible people.

[Illustration: A HAWAIIAN CHIEF.]

Finally, society in Honolulu is respectable. It is fashionable to be
virtuous, and if you were "fast," I think you would conceal it. The
Government has always encouraged respectability, and discountenanced vice.
The men who have ruled the Islands--not the missionaries alone, but the
political rulers since--have been plain, honest, and, in the main, wise
men; and they have kept politics respectable in the little monarchy. The
disreputable adventurer element which degrades our politics, and invades
society too, is not found here. You will say the rewards are not great
enough to attract this vile class. Perhaps not; but at any rate it is not
there; and I do not know, in short, where else in the world you would find
so kindly, so gracefully hospitable, and, at the same time, so simple and
enjoyable a society as that of Honolulu.

No one can visit the Islands without being impressed by the boundless
hospitality of the sugar planters, who, with their superintendents
and managers, form, away from the few towns, almost the only white
inhabitants. Hospitality so free-handed is, I suspect, found in few
other parts of the world. Though Honolulu has now a commodious hotel, the
residents keep up their old habits of graceful welcome to strangers. The
capital has an excellent band, which plays in public places several times
a week; and it does not lack social entertainments, parties, and dinners,
to break the monotony of life. Not only the residents of foreign birth,
but a few Hawaiians also, people of education, culture, and means,
entertain gracefully and frequently.

As for the common people, they are by nature or long custom, or both, as
kindly and hospitable as men can be. If you ask for lodgings at night-fall
at a native hut, you are received as though you were conferring a favor;
frequently the whole house, which has but one room, is set apart for you,
the people going elsewhere to sleep; a chicken is slain in your honor, and
for your exclusive supper; and you are served by the master of the house
himself. The native grass-house, where it has been well built, is a very
comfortable structure. It has but a single room, calico curtains serving
as partitions by night; at one end a standing bed-place, running across
the house, provides sleeping accommodations for the whole family, however
numerous. This bed consists of mats; and the covers are either of tapa
cloth--which is as though you should sleep under newspapers--or of
blankets. The more prosperous people have often, besides this, an enormous
bedstead curtained off and reserved for strangers; and you may see the
women take out of their chests, when you ask hospitality, blankets,
sheets, and a great number of little pillows for the bed, as well as often
a brilliant silk coverlet; for this bed appears to be like a Cape Cod
parlor--for ornament rather than use. The use of the dozen little pillows
puzzled me, until I found that they were intended to tuck or wedge me in,
so that I should not needlessly and uncomfortably roll about the vast bed.
They were laid at the sides, and I was instructed to "chock" myself with
them. On leaving, do not inquire what is the cost of your accommodations.
The Hawaiian has vague ideas about price. He might tell you five or ten
dollars; but if you pay him seventy-five cents for yourself and your
guide, he will be abundantly and thoroughly satisfied.




Hilo, as you will perceive on the map, lies on the eastern or windward
side of the Island of Hawaii. You get there in the little inter-island
steamer _Kilauea_, named after the volcano, and which makes a weekly tour
of all the Islands except far-off Kauai, which it visits but once a month.
The charge for passage is fifteen dollars from Honolulu to Hilo, and
twenty-five dollars for the round trip.

The cabin is small; and as you are likely to have fine weather, you will,
even if you are a lady, pass the time more pleasantly on deck, where the
steward, a Goa man and the most assiduous and tactful of his trade, will
place a mattress and blankets for you. You must expect to suffer somewhat
from sea-sickness if you are subject to that ill, for the passage is not
unlikely to be rough. On the way you see Lahaina, and a considerable part
of the islands of Maui and Hawaii; in fact, you are never out of sight of

If you start on Monday evening you will reach Hilo on Wednesday--and
"about this time expect rain," as the almanac-makers say. They get about
seventeen feet of rain at Hilo during the year; and as they have sometimes
several days without any at all, you must look for not only frequent but
heavy showers. A Hilo man told me of a curious experiment which was once
made there. They knocked the heads out of an oil-cask--so he said--and it
rained in at the bung-hole faster than it could run out at the ends. You
may disbelieve this story if you please; I tell it as it was told me; but
in any case you will do well to provide yourself for Hilo and the volcano
journey with stout water-proof clothing.

Hilo, on those days when the sun shines, is one of the prettiest places on
the Islands. If you are so fortunate as to enter the bay on a fine day
you will see a very tropical landscape--a long, pleasant, curved sweep of
beach, on which the surf is breaking, and beyond, white houses nestling
among cocoa-nut groves, and bread-fruit, pandanus, and other Southern
trees, many of them bearing brilliant flowers; with shops and stores along
the beach. Men and boys sporting in the surf, and men and women dashing on
horseback over the beach, make up the life of the scene.

Hilo has no hotel; it has not even a carriage; but it has a very
agreeable and intelligent population of Americans, and you will find good
accommodations at the large house of Mr. Severance, the sheriff of Hawaii.
If his house should be full you need not be alarmed, for some one will
take you in.

This is the usual and most convenient point of departure for the volcano.
Here you hire horses and a guide for the journey. Having gone to Hilo on
the steamer, you will do best to return to Honolulu by schooner, which
leaves you at liberty to choose your point and time of departure. Hawaii
lies to windward of Oahu; and a schooner, which might need four or
five days to beat up to Hilo, will run down from any part of Hawaii in
twenty-four hours. If you are an energetic traveler, determined to see
every thing, and able to endure a good deal of rough riding, you may spend
six weeks on Hawaii. In that time you may not only see the active volcano
of Kilauea, but may ascend Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, whose immense slopes
and lofty and in the winter snow-clad summits show gloriously on a clear
day from Hilo; and you may ride from Hilo along the north-eastern
coast, through the Hamakua and Kohala districts, ending your journey at
Kealakeakua Bay where Captain Cook was killed. There you can take schooner
for Honolulu; or if your energies hold out ride through Kau and Puna
back to Hilo.

The Hamakua and Hilo coasts you will see from the steamer, which sails
close along this bold and picturesque shore on her way to Hilo. This part
of the island is but an extension of the vast slope of Mauna Kea; and
all the waters which drain from its cloud-laden summit pour into the
sea through numerous deep channels, or gorges which they have worn for
themselves, and occasionally dash into the ocean from high cliffs, forming
water-falls visible from the ship's deck. Of the gorges or cañons, there
are seventy-nine in a distance of about thirty miles; many of them are
from five to eight hundred feet deep; and as you ride along the coast, you
have no sooner emerged from one of these deep pits than you descend by a
road seldom easy, and often very steep indeed, into another. The sides of
these gorges are lined with masses of the most magnificent ferns, and at
their bottoms you find sparkling streams; and as you look up the cañons
you see picturesque water-falls. In short, to the lover of bold and
strange scenery this ride offers many pleasures; and that its difficulties
may not be exaggerated to any one's apprehension, I will mention that
during the spring of 1873 an English lady, taking with her only a native
woman as guide, made the tour of the whole seventy-nine gulches, and
thought herself amply rewarded for her toils by what she saw. As for
myself, I must confess that four of these gulches--the four nearest
Hilo--satisfied me; these I saw in visiting some sugar-plantations.


If you do not intend such a thorough exploration of Hawaii, but mean only
to see the volcano of Kilauea, your pleasantest plan is to ride from Hilo
by the direct road to the crater, and return by way of Puna. You will have
ridden a trifle over one hundred miles through a very remarkable and in
some parts a beautiful country; you will have slept one night in a native
house, and will have seen much of Hawaiian life, and enjoyed a tiring but
at the same time a very novel journey, and some sights which can not be
matched outside of Iceland. To do this, and spend two or three days in
pleasant sight-seeing near Hilo, will bring you back to Honolulu in from
twelve to fourteen days after you left it.

Your traveling expenses will be sufficiently moderate. At Hilo you pay for
board and lodgings eight dollars per week. The charge for horses is ten
dollars each for the volcano journey, with a dollar a day for your guide.
This guide relieves you of all care of the animals, and is useful in
various ways. At the Volcano House the charge for horse and man is five
dollars per day, and you pay half-price for your guide. There is a charge
of one dollar for a special guide into the crater, which is made in your
bill, and you will do well to promise this guide, when you go in, a small
gratuity--half a dollar, or, if your party is large, a dollar--if he gives
you satisfaction. He will get you specimens, carry a shawl for a lady, and
make himself in other ways helpful.

[Illustration: THE VOLCANO HOUSE.]

When you get on your horse at Hilo for the volcano, leave behind you all
hope of good roads. You are to ride for thirty miles over a lava bed,
along a narrow trail as well made as it could be without enormous expense,
but so rough, so full of mud-holes filled with broken lava in the first
part of the journey, and so entirely composed of naked, jagged, and ragged
lava in the remainder, that one wonders how the horses stand it. A canter,
except for two or three miles near the Volcano House, is almost out of the
question; and though the Hawaiians trot and gallop the whole distance, a
stranger will scarcely follow their example.

You should insist, by-the-way, upon having all your horses reshod the day
before they leave Hilo; and it is prudent, even then, to take along an
extra pair of shoes and a dozen or two horse-nails. The lava is extremely
trying to the horse's shoes; and if your horse casts a shoe he will go
lame in fifteen minutes, for the jagged lava cuts almost like glass.

Moreover, do not wait for a fine day; it will probably rain at any rate
before you reach the Volcano House, and your wisest way is to set out
resolutely, rain or shine, on the appointed morning, for the sun may
come out two or three hours after you have started in a heavy rain. Each
traveler should take his water-proof clothing upon his own saddle--it may
be needed at any time--and the pack-mule should carry not only the spare
clothing, well covered with India-rubber blankets, but also an abundant
lunch to be eaten at the Half-way House.

India-rubber or leather leggings, and a long, sleeveless Mackintosh seemed
to me the most comfortable and sufficient guards against weather. Ladies
should ride astride; they will be most comfortable thus. There are no
steep ascents or abrupt descents on the way. Kilauea is nearly four
thousand feet higher than the sea from which you set out; but the rise
is so gradual and constant that if the road were good one might gallop a
horse the whole distance.

You should set out not later than half-past seven, and make up your mind
not to be hurried on the way. There are people who make the distance
in six hours, and boast about it; but I accomplished it with a party of
ladies and children in ten hours with very little discomfort, and did not
envy the six-hour people. There is nothing frightful, or dangerous, or
disagreeable about the journey, even to ladies not accustomed to riding;
and there is very much that is new, strange, and wonderful to Americans
or Europeans. Especially you will be delighted with the great variety and
beauty of the ferns, which range from minute and delicate species to the
dark and grand fronds of the tree-fern, which rises in the more elevated
region to a height of twenty feet, and whose stalk has sometimes a
diameter of three or four feet. From a variety of this tree-fern the
natives take a substance called pulu, a fine, soft, brown fuzz, used for
stuffing pillows and mattresses.

Your guide will probably understand very little English: let him be
instructed in your wishes before you set out. The native Hawaiian is the
most kind and obliging creature in the world, and you will find your guide
ready to do you every needful service. You can get nothing to eat on the
road, except perhaps a little sugar-cane; therefore you must provide a
sufficient lunch. At the Half-way House, but probably nowhere else, you
will get water to drink.

When you reach the Volcano House, I advise you to take a sulphur
vapor-bath, refreshing after a tedious ride; and after supper you will sit
about a big open fire and recount the few incidents and adventures of the

The next day you give to the crater. Unless the night is very foggy you
will have gone to sleep with the lurid light of Kilauea in your eyes.
Madame Pele, the presiding goddess of the volcano, exhibits fine
fire-works at night sometimes, and we saw the lava spurting up in the air
above the edge of the smaller and active crater, one night, in a quite
lively manner. On a moderately clear night the light from the burning
lakes makes a very grand sight; and the bedrooms at the little Volcano
House are so placed that you have Madame Pele's fire-works before you all

The house stands but a few feet from the edge of the great crater, and you
have no tedious preliminary walk, but begin your descent into the pit
at once. For this you need stout shoes, light clothing, and, if you have
ladies in your party, a heavy shawl for each. The guide takes with him a
canteen of water, and also carries the shawls. You should start about
nine o'clock, and give the whole day to the crater, returning to dinner at

The great crater of Kilauea is nine miles in circumference, and perhaps
a thousand feet deep. It is, in fact, a deep pit, bounded on all sides
by precipitous rocks. The entrance is effected by a series of steps, and
below these by a scramble over lava and rock debris. It is not difficult,
but the ascent is tiresome; and it is a prudent precaution, if you have
ladies with you, to take a native man for each lady, to assist her over
the rougher places, and up the steep ascent. The greater part of the
crater was, when I saw it, a mass of dead, though not cold lava; and over
this you walk to the farthest extremity of the pit, where you must ascend
a tolerably steep hill of lava, which is the bank of the fiery lake. The
distance from the Volcano House to the edge of this lake is, by the road
you take, three miles.


The goddess Pele, who, according to the Hawaiian mythology, presides over
Kilauea, is, as some say all her sex are, variable, changeable, mutable.
What I shall tell you about the appearance of the crater and lake is true
of that time; it may not have been correct a week later; it was certainly
not true of a month before. We climbed into the deep pit, and then
stood upon a vast floor of lava, rough, jammed together, broken, jagged,
steaming out a hot sulphurous breath at almost every seam, revealing rolls
of later lava injections at every deep crack, with caverns and high ridges
where the great mass, after cooling, was forced together, and with a steep
mountain-side of lava at our left, along the foot of which we clambered.

This floor of lava, which seems likely to be a more or less permanent
feature, was, three or four years ago, upon a level with the top of the
high ridge, or ledge, whose base you skirt. The main part of the crater
was then a floor of lava vaster even than it now is. Suddenly one day, and
with a crash which persuaded one or two persons at the Volcano House that
the whole planet was flying to pieces, the greater part of this lava floor
sank down, or fell down, a depth of about five hundred feet, to the level
whereon we now walked. The wonderful tale was plain to us as we examined
the details on the spot. It was as though a top-heavy and dried-out
pie-crust had fallen in in the middle, leaving a part of the circumference
bent down, but clinging at the outside to the dish.

[Illustration: LAVA FIELD, HAWAII--FLOW OF 1868.]

After this great crash the lava seems from time to time to have boiled up
from beneath through cracks, and now lies in great rolls upon the surface,
or in the deeper cracks. It is related that later the lake or caldron at
the farther end of the crater boiled over, and sent down streams of lava
which meandered over the black plain; that, continuing to boil over at
intervals, this lake increased the height of its own banks, for the lava
cools very rapidly; and thus was built up a high hill, which we ascended
after crossing the lava plains, in order to look down, in fear and wonder,
upon the awful sight below. What we saw there on the 3d of March, 1873,
was two huge pits, caldrons, or lakes, filled with a red, molten, fiery,
sulphurous, raging, roaring, restless mass of matter, to watch whose
unceasing tumult was one of the most fascinating experiences of my life.

The two lakes were then separated by a narrow and low-lying ledge
or peninsula of lava, which I was told they frequently overflow, and
sometimes entirely melt down. Standing upon the northern bank we could see
both lakes, and we estimated their shortest diameter to be about 500 feet,
and the longest about one-eighth of a mile. Within this pit the surface of
the molten lava was about eighty feet below us. It has been known to sink
down 400 feet; last December it was overflowing the high banks and sending
streams of lava into the great plain by which we approached it; and since
I saw it, it has risen to within a few feet of the top of the bank,
and has forced a way out at one side, where, in September, 1873, it was
flowing out slowly on to the great lava plain which forms the bottom of
the main crater.

What, therefore, Madame Pele will show you hereafter is uncertain. What we
saw was this: two large lakes or caldrons, each nearly circular, with
the lower shelf or bank, red-hot, from which the molten lava was repelled
toward the centre without cessation. The surface of these lakes was of a
lustrous and beautiful gray, and this, which was a cooling and tolerably
solid scum, was broken by jagged circles of fire, which appeared of a
vivid rose-color in contrast with the gray. These circles, starting at
the red-hot bank or shore, moved more or less rapidly toward the centre,
where, at intervals of perhaps a minute, the whole mass of lava suddenly
but slowly bulged up, burst the thin crust, and flung aloft a huge, fiery
wave, which sometimes shot as high as thirty feet in the air. Then ensued
a turmoil, accompanied with hissing, and occasionally with a dull roar as
the gases sought to escape, and spray was flung in every direction; and
presently the agitation subsided, to begin again in the same place, or
perhaps in another.

Meantime the fiery rings moved forward perpetually toward the centre, a
new one re-appearing at the shore before the old was ingulfed; and not
unfrequently the mass of lava was so fiercely driven by some force from
the bank near which we stood, that it was ten or fifteen feet higher
near the centre than at the circumference. Thus somewhat of the depth was
revealed to us, and there seemed something peculiarly awful to me in the
fierce glowing red heat of the shores themselves, which never cooled with
exposure to the air and light.

Thus acted the first of the two lakes. But when, favored by a strong
breeze, we ventured farther, to the side of the furthermost one, a still
more terrible spectacle greeted us. The mass in this lake was in yet more
violent agitation; but it spent its fury upon the precipitous southern
bank, against which it dashed with a vehemence equal to a heavy surf
breaking against cliffs. It had undermined this lava cliff, and for a
space of perhaps one hundred and fifty feet the lava beat and surged into
glaring, red-hot, cavernous depths, and was repelled with a dull, heavy
roar, not exactly like the boom of breakers, because the lava is so much
heavier than water, but with a voice of its own, less resonant, and, as we
who listened thought, full of even more deadly fury.

It seems a little absurd to couple the word "terrible" with any action of
mere inanimate matter, from which, after all, we stood in no very evident
peril. Yet "terrible" is the only word for it. Grand it was not, because
in all its action and voice it seemed infernal. Though its movement is
slow and deliberate, it would scarcely occur to you to call either the
constant impulse from one side toward the other, or the vehement and vast
bulging of the lava wave as it explodes its thin crust or dashes a fiery
mass against the cliff, majestic, for devilish seems a better word.

Meantime, though we were favored with a cool and strong breeze, bearing
the sulphurous stench of the burning lake away from us, the heat of the
lava on which we stood, at least eighty feet above the pit, was so great
as to be almost unendurable. We stood first upon one foot, and then on the
other, because the soles of our feet seemed to be scorching through thick
shoes. A lady sitting down upon a bundle of shawls had to rise because the
wraps began to scorch; our faces seemed on fire from the reflection of
the heat below; the guide's tin water-canteen, lying near my feet, became
presently so hot that it burned my fingers when I took it up; and at
intervals there came up from behind us a draught of air so hot, and so
laden with sulphur that, even with the strong wind carrying it rapidly
away, it was scarcely endurable. It was while we were coughing and
spluttering at one of these hot blasts, which came from the numerous
fissures in the lava which we had passed over, that a lady of our party
remarked that she had read an excellent description of this place in the
New Testament; and so far as I observed, no one disagreed with her.

After the lakes came the cones. When the surface of this lava is so
rapidly cooling that the action below is too weak to break it, the gases
forcing their way out break small vents, through which lava is then
ejected. This, cooling rapidly as it comes to the outer air, forms by its
accretions a conical pipe of greater or less circumference, and sometimes
growing twenty or thirty feet high, open at the top, and often with
openings also blown out at the sides. There are several of these cones on
the summit bank of the lake, all ruined, as it seemed to me, by some too
violent explosion, which had blown off most of the top, and in one case
the whole of it, leaving then only a wide hole.

Into these holes we looked, and saw a very wonderful and terrible sight.
Below us was a stream of lava, rolling and surging and beating against
huge, precipitous, red-hot cliffs; and, higher up, suspended from other,
also red or white hot overhanging cliffs, depended huge stalactites, like
masses of fiercely glowing fern leaves waving about in the subterraneous
wind; and here we saw how thin was in some such places the crust over
which we walked, and how near the melting-point must be its under surface.
For, as far as we could judge, these little craters or cones rested upon
a crust not thicker than twelve or fourteen inches, and one fierce blast
from below seemed sufficient to melt away the whole place. Fortunately
one can not stay very long near these openings, for they exhale a very
poisonous breath; and so we were drawn back to the more fascinating but
less perilous spectacle of the lakes; and then back over the rough lava,
our minds filled with memories of a spectacle which is certainly one of
the most remarkable our planet affords.

When you have seen the fiery lakes you will recognize a crater at sight,
and every part of Hawaii and of the other islands will have a new interest
for you;


for all are full of craters, and from Kilauea to the sea you may trace
several lines of craters, all extinct, but all at some time belching forth
those interminable lava streams over which you ride by the way of the Puna
coast for nearly seventy miles back to Hilo.

I advise you to take this way back. Almost the whole of it is a land of
desolation. A narrow trail across unceasing beds of lava, a trail which
in spots was actually hammered down to make it smooth enough for horses'
feet, and outside of whose limits in most places your horse will refuse to
go, because he knows it is too rough for beast or man: this is your road.
Most of the lava is probably very ancient, though some is quite recent;
and ferns and guava bushes and other scanty herbage grow through it.

In some of the cavernous holes, which denote probably ancient cones or
huge lava bubbles, you will see a cocoa-nut-tree or a pandanus trying to
subsist; and by-and-by, after a descent to the sea-shore, you are rewarded
with the pleasant sight of groves of cocoa-nuts and umbrageous arbors of
pandanus, and occasionally with a patch of green.

Almost the whole of the Puna coast is waterless. From the Volcano House
you take with you not only food for the journey back to Hilo, but water in
bottles; and your thirsty animals get none until you reach the end of
your first day's journey, at Kaimu. Here, also, you can send a more than
half-naked native into the trees for cocoa-nuts, and drink your fill
of their refreshing milk, while your jaded horses swallow bucketfuls of

[Illustration: HILO.]

It will surprise you to find people living among the lava, making
potato-patches in it, planting coffee and some fruit-trees in it, fencing
in their small holdings, even, with lava blocks. Very little soil is
needed to give vegetation a chance in a rainy reason, and the decomposed
lava makes a rich earth. But except the cocoa-nut which grows on
the beach, and seems to draw its sustenance from the waves, and the
sweet-potato, which does very well among the lava, nothing seems really to

It will add much to the pleasure of your journey to Kilauea if you carry
with you, to read upon the spot and along the road, Brigham's valuable
Memoir on the Hawaiian Volcanoes. With this in hand, you will comprehend
the nature, and know also the very recent date of some important changes,
caused by earthquakes and lava flows, on the Puna coast. Near and at
Kaimu, for instance, there has been an apparent subsidence of the land,
which is supposed in reality, however, I believe, to have been caused
rather by the breaking off of a vast lava ledge or overhang, on which,
covered as it was with earth and trees, a considerable population had long
lived. In front of the native house in which you will sleep, at Kaimu,
part of a large grove of cocoa-nut-trees was thus submerged, and you may
see the dead stumps still sticking up out of the surf.

Kaimu is twenty-five miles from the Volcano House. The native house
at which you will pass the night is clean, and you may there enjoy the
novelty of sleeping on Hawaiian mats, and under the native cover of tapa.
You must bring with you tea or coffee, sugar, and bread, and such other
food as is necessary to your comfort. Sweet-potatoes and bananas, and
chickens caught after you arrive, with abundant cocoa-nuts, are the
supplies of the place. The water is not good, and you will probably drink
only cocoa-nut milk, until, fifteen miles farther on, at Captain Eldart's,
you find a pleasant and comfortable resting-place for the second night,
with a famous natural warm bath, very slightly mineral. Thence a ride of
twenty-three miles brings you back to Hilo, all of it over lava, most of
it through a sterile country, but with one small burst of a real paradise
of tropical luxuriance, a mile of tall forest and jungle, which looks more
like Brazil than Hawaii.

One advantage of returning by way of the Puna coast, rather than by the
direct route from Kilauea, is that you have clear, bright weather all the
way. The configuration of the coast makes Puna sunny while Hilo is rainy.

If you desire a longer ride than that by the Puna coast, you can cross
the island, from the Volcano House, by way of Waiahino and Kapapala to
Kauwaloa on the western coast, whence a schooner will bear you back to
Honolulu. A brief study of the map of Hawaii in this volume will show the
different routes suggested in this chapter.

Moreover, when you are at Kilauea, you have done something toward
the ascent of Mauna Loa; and guides, provisions, and animals for that
enterprise can be obtained at the Volcano House, as well as such ample
details of the route that I will not here attempt any directions. It is
not an easy ride; and you must carry with you warm clothing. A gentleman
who slept at the summit in September, 1873, told me the ice made over two
inches thick during the night.

If Mauna Loa is active, a traveler on the Islands ought by all means to
see it; for Dr. Coan assures me that it is then one of the most terrific
and grand sights imaginable. I did not visit it, as it was not active
while I was on the Islands, though its fires were alive. The crater is a
pit about three miles in circumference, with precipitous banks about two
thousand feet deep. At the bottom is the burning lake, which has a curious
habit of throwing up a jet, more or less constant, of fiery lava, to the
height, this last summer, of four or five hundred feet from the surface of
the lake. It is a fine sight, but, of course, somewhat distant. I am
told that this jet has at times reached nearly to the summit level of the
crater; and it must then have been a glorious spectacle.

[Illustration: SURF BATHING.]

Near Hilo are some pretty water-falls and several sugar plantations, to
which you can profitably give a couple of days, and on another you should
visit Cocoa-nut Island, and--as interesting a spot as almost any on the
Islands--a little lagoon on the main-land near by, in which you may see
the coral growing, and pick it up in lovely specimens with the stones upon
which it has built in these shallow and protected waters. Moreover,
the surf-beaten rocks near by yield cowries and other shells in some
abundance; and I do not know anywhere of a pleasanter picnic day than that
you can spend there.

Finally, Hilo is one of the very few places on these islands where you
can see a truly royal sport--the surf-board. It requires a rough day and
a heavy surf, but with a good day it is one of the finest sights in the

The surf-board is a tough plank about two feet wide and from six to twenty
feet long, usually made of the bread-fruit-tree. Armed with these, a party
of tall, muscular natives swim out to the first line of breakers, and,
watching their chance to duck under this, make their way finally, by the
help of the under-tow, into the smooth water far off: beyond all the surf.
Here they bob up and down on the swell like so many ducks, watching their
opportunity. What they seek is a very high swell, before which they place
themselves, lying or kneeling on the surf-board. The great wave dashes
onward, but as its bottom strikes the ground, the top, unretarded in its
speed and force, breaks into a huge comber, and directly before this the
surf-board swimmer is propelled with a speed which we timed and found to
exceed forty miles per hour. In fact, he goes like lightning, always just
ahead of the breaker, and apparently downhill, propelled by the vehement
impulse of the roaring wave behind him, yet seeming to have a speed and
motion of his own.

It is a very surprising sight to see three or four men thus dashed for
nearly a mile toward the shore at the speed of an express train, every
moment about to be overwhelmed by a roaring breaker, whose white crest
was reared high above and just behind them, but always escaping this
ingulfment, and propelled before it. They look, kneeling or lying on their
long surf-boards, more like some curious and swift-swimming fish--like
dolphins racing, as it seemed to me--than like men. Once in a while, by
some mischance the cause of which I could not understand, the swimmer
_was_ overwhelmed; the great comber overtook him; he was flung over and
over like a piece of wreck, but instantly dived, and re-appeared beyond
and outside of the wave, ready to take advantage of the next. A successful
shot launched them quite high and dry on the beach far beyond where we
stood to watch. Occasionally a man would stand erect upon his surf-board,
balancing himself in the boiling surf without apparent difficulty.

The surf-board play is one of the ancient sports of Hawaii. I am told that
few of the younger generation are capable of it, and that it is thought to
require great nerve and coolness even among these admirable swimmers, and
to be not without danger.

In your journeys to the different islands you need to take with you, as
part of your baggage, saddle and bridle, and all the furniture of a horse.
You can hire or buy a horse anywhere very cheaply; but saddles are often
unattainable, and always difficult to either borrow or hire. "You might as
well travel here without your boots as without your saddle," said a friend
to me; and I found it literally true, not only for strangers, but for
residents as well. Thus you may notice that the little steamer's hold,
as she leaves Honolulu, contains but few trunks; but is crowded with a
considerable collection of saddles and saddle-bags, the latter the most
convenient receptacles for your change of clothing.

Riding on Hawaii is often tiresome, even to one accustomed to the saddle,
by reason of the slow pace at which you are compelled to move. Wherever
you stop, for lunch or for the night, if there are native people near,
you will be greatly refreshed by the application of what they call
"lomi-lomi." Almost everywhere you will find some one skillful in this
peculiar and, to tired muscles, delightful and refreshing treatment.

To be lomi-lomied, you lie down upon a mat, loosening your clothing, or
undressing for the night if you prefer. The less clothing you have on the
more perfectly the operation can be performed. To you thereupon comes a
stout native, with soft, fleshy hands but a strong grip, and, beginning
with your head and working down slowly over the whole body, seizes
and squeezes with a quite peculiar art every tired muscle, working and
kneading with indefatigable patience, until in half an hour, whereas you
were sore and weary and worn-out, you find yourself fresh, all soreness
and weariness absolutely and entirely removed, and mind and body soothed
to a healthful and refreshing sleep.

The lomi-lomi is used not only by the natives, but among almost all
the foreign residents; and not merely to procure relief from weariness
consequent on overexertion, but to cure headache, to relieve the aching
of neuralgic or rheumatic pains, and, by the luxurious, as one of the
pleasures of life. I have known it to relieve violent headache in a very
short time. The old chiefs used to keep skillful lomi-lomi men and women
in their retinues; and the late king, who was for some years too stout to
take exercise, and was yet a gross feeder, had himself lomi-lomied after
every meal, as a means of helping his digestion.

It is a device for relieving pain or weariness which seems to have no
injurious reaction and no drawback but one--it is said to fatten the
subjects of it.

[Illustration: LAHAINA, ISLAND OF MAUI.]



Maui lies between Oahu and Hawaii, and is somewhat larger than the
first-named island. It contains the most considerable sugar-plantations,
and yields more of this product than any one of the other islands. It is
notable also for possessing the mountain of Haleakala, an extinct volcano
ten thousand feet high, which has the largest crater in the world--a
monstrous pit, thirty miles in circumference, and two thousand feet deep.

There is some reason to believe that Maui was originally two islands,
the northern and southern parts being joined together by an immense sandy
plain, so low that in misty weather it is hardly to be distinguished from
the ocean; and some years ago a ship actually ran aground upon it, sailing
for what the captain imagined to be an open passage.

Maui has also the famous Wailuku Valley, a picturesque gorge several miles
deep, and giving you a very fair example of the broken, verdure-clad, and
now lonely valleys of these islands; which are in reality steep, narrow
cañons, worn out of the mountains by the erosion of water. The old
Hawaiians seem to have cared little how difficult a piece of country was;
they not only made their taro patches in the streams which roar at the
bottoms of such gorges, but they fought battles among the precipices which
you find at the upper ends of these valleys, where the defeated usually
met their deaths by plunging down into the stream far below.

After seeing a live or burning crater like Kilauea, Haleakala, I thought,
would be but a dull sight; but it is, on the contrary, extremely well
worth a visit. The islands have no sharp or angular volcanic peaks.
Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, on Hawaii, though 14,000 feet high, are mere
bulbs--vast hills, not mountains; and the ascent to the summit of
Haleakala, though you surmount 10,000 feet, is neither dangerous nor
difficult. It is tedious, however, for it involves a ride of about twelve
miles, mostly over lava, uphill. It is best to ride up during the day, and
sleep at or near the summit, where there are one or two so-called caves in
the lava, broken lava-bubbles in fact, sufficiently roomy to accommodate
several persons. You must take with you a guide, provisions, and blankets,
for the nights are cold; and you find near the summit water, wood enough
for a small fire, and forage for your horses. Each person should have
water-proof clothing, for it is very likely to rain, at least on the
Makawao side.

[Illustration: CASCADE AND RIVER OF LAVA--FLOW OF 1869.]

The great crater is best seen at sunrise, and, if you are so fortunate
as to have a tolerably clear sky, you may see, lying far away below you,
almost all of the islands. Hawaii lies far enough away to reveal its
entire outline, with Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea rising near either end, and
the depression near which lies Kilauea in the middle. The cloud effects at
sunrise and sunset are marvelous, and alone repay the ascent.

But the crater itself, clear of fog and clouds in the early morning, and
lighted up by the rising sun, is a most surprising sight. It is ten miles
in diameter, and the bottom lies 2000 feet below where you stand. The vast
irregular floor contains more than a dozen subsidiary craters or great
cones, some of them 750 feet high, and nearly as large as Diamond Head. At
the Kaupo and Koolau gaps, indicated on the map, the lava is supposed to
have burst through and made its way down the mountain sides. The cones are
distinctly marked as you look down upon them; and it is remarkable that
from the summit the eye takes in the whole crater, and notes all its
contents, diminished of course by their great distance. Not a tree, shrub,
or even tuft of grass obstructs the view.

To describe such a scene is impossible. A study of the map, with the
figures showing elevations, will give you a better idea of it than a long
verbal description. It is an extraordinarily desolate scene. A few wild
goats scramble over the rocks, or rush down the nearly perpendicular
cliff; occasionally a solitary bird raises its harsh note; the wind howls
fiercely; and as you lie under the lee of a mass of lava, taking in the
scene and picking out the details as the rising sun brings them out one by
one, presently the mist begins to pour into the crater, and often by ten
o'clock fills it up completely.

The natives have no tradition of Haleakala in activity. There are signs
of several lava flows, and of one in particular, clearly much more recent
than the others. It must have presented a magnificent and terrible sight
when it was in full activity. I did not ride into the crater, but it is
possible to do so, and the natives have a trail, not much used, by which
they pass. If you descend, be careful not to leave or lose this trail, for
in many parts your horse will not be able to get back to it if you suffer
him to stray off even a few yards, the lava is so sharp and jagged. As you
descend the mountain on the Makawao side you will notice two finely shaped
craters on the side of the mountain, which also in their time spewed out
lava. Nearer the coast your eye, become familiar with the peculiar
shape of these cones or craters, will notice yet others; and, indeed, to
appreciate the peculiarities of Sandwich Island scenery, in which extinct
craters and cones of all sizes have so great a part, it is necessary to
have visited Kilauea and Haleakala. The latter name, by-the-way,
means "House of the Sun;" and as you watch the rising sun entering and
apparently taking possession of the vast gloomy depths, you will think the
name admirably chosen.

If you carry a gun you are likely to have a shot at wild turkeys on your
way up or down. It is remarkable that many of our domestic animals easily
become wild on the islands. There are wild goats, wild cats, wild chickens
and turkeys; the cattle run wild; and on Hawaii one man at least has been
killed and torn to pieces by wild dogs, which run in packs in some parts
of the island.

Sugar plantations are found on all four of the larger islands; and on
all of them there are successful examples of this enterprise; but Maui
contains, I believe, the greatest number, and is thought to be the best
fitted for the business. It is on this island, therefore, that the curious
traveler can see this industry under its most favorable aspects. There
is no doubt that for the production of sugar these islands offer some
extraordinary advantages.


I have seen a field of thirty acres which two years ago produced nearly
six tons of sugar to the acre. Four tons per acre is not a surprising
crop; and, from all I can hear, I judge that two and a half tons per acre
may be considered a fair yield. The soil, too, with proper treatment,
appears to be inexhaustible. The common custom is to take off two crops,
and then let the field lie fallow for two years; but where they irrigate
even this is not always done. There is no danger of frost, as in
Louisiana, and cane is planted in some part of the islands in almost
every month of the year. In Lahaina it matures in from fourteen to sixteen
months; in some districts it requires eighteen months; and at greater
altitudes even two years.

But under all the varying circumstances, whether it is irrigated or not,
whether it grows on bottoms or on hill slopes, in dry or in damp regions,
everywhere the cane seems to thrive, and undoubtedly it is the one product
of the islands which succeeds. A worm, which pierces the cane near the
ground and eats out the pith, has of late, I am told, done some damage,
and in some parts the rat has proved troublesome. But these evils do not
anywhere endanger or ruin the crop, as the blight has ruined the coffee
culture and discouraged other agricultural ventures. The sugar product
of the islands has constantly increased. In 1860 they exported 1,444,271
pounds of sugar; in 1864, 10,414,441 pounds; in 1868, 18,312,926 pounds;
and in 1871, 21,760,773 pounds of sugar.

What is remarkable is that, with this rapid increase in the production
of sugar, you hear that the business is unprosperous; and if to this you
reply that planters, like farmers, are hard to satisfy, they show you that
the greater number of the plantations have at some time been sold by the
sheriff, some of them more than once, and that, in fact, only six or seven
are to-day in the hands of their founders.

I do not doubt that there has been bad management on many plantations,
and that this accounts in part for these failures, by which many hundred
thousand dollars have been lost. For the advantages of the sugar planter
on these islands are very decided. He has not only, as I showed you above,
a favorable climate and an extraordinarily fertile soil, but he has
a laboring population, perhaps the best, the most easily managed, the
kindliest, and--so far as habits affect the steadiness and usefulness
of the laborer--the least vicious in the world. He does not have to pay
exorbitant wages; he is not embarrassed to feed or house them, for food
is so abundant and cheap that economy in its distribution is of no moment;
and the Hawaiian is very cheaply housed.

But bad management by no means accounts for all the non-success. There are
some natural disadvantages serious enough to be taken into the account.
In the first place, you must understand that the rain-fall varies
extraordinarily. The trade-wind brings rain; the islands are bits of
mountain ranges; the side of the mountain which lies toward the rain-wind
gets rain; the lee side gets scarcely any. At Hilo it rains almost
constantly; at Lahaina they get hardly a shower a year. At Captain
Makee's, one of the most successful plantations on Maui, water is stored
in cisterns; at Mr. Spencer's, not a dozen miles distant, also one of the
successful plantations, which lies on the other side of Mount Haleakala,
they never have to irrigate. Near Hilo the long rains make cultivation
costly and difficult; but the water is so abundant that they run their
fire-wood from the mountains and their cane from the fields into the
sugar-houses in flumes, at a very great saving of labor. Near Lahaina
every acre must be irrigated, and this work proceeds day and night in
order that no water may run to waste.

Then there is the matter of shipping sugar. There are no good ports except
Honolulu. Kaului on Maui, Hanalei and Nawiliwili on Kauai, and one or two
plantations on Oahu, have tolerable landings. But almost everywhere the
sugar is sent over vile roads to a more or less difficult landing, whence
it is taken in launches to the schooners which carry it to Honolulu, where
it is stored, coopered, and finally reshipped to its market. Many landings
are made through the surf, and I remember one which, last spring,
was unapproachable by vessel or boat for nearly four weeks.

Each sugar planter has, therefore, problems of his own to solve. He can
not pattern on his neighbors. He can not base his estimate on theirs. He
can not be certain even, until he has tried, which of the ten or a dozen
varieties of cane will do best on his soil. He must look out for wood,
which is by no means abundant, and is often costly to bring down from the
mountain; he must look out for his landing; must see that taro grows near
at hand; must secure pasture for his draught cattle: in short, he must
consider carefully and independently many different questions before he
can be even reasonably sure of success. And if, with all this uncertainty,
he embarks with insufficient capital, and must pay one per cent. a month
interest, and turn his crop over to an agent in Honolulu, who is his
creditor, and who charges him five per cent. for handling it, it will not
be wonderful to any business man if he fails to grow rich, or if even he
by-and-by becomes bankrupt. Many have failed. Of thirty-four plantations,
the number worked in all the islands at this time, only six or seven are
in the hands of their founders. Some, which cost one hundred thousand
dollars, were sold by the sheriff for fifteen or eighteen thousand; some,
which cost a quarter of a million, were sold for less than a hundred

If you speak with the planters, they will tell you that their great
difficulty is to get a favorable market; that the duty on their sugar
imported into San Francisco eats up their profits; and that the only
cure--the cure-all, I should say, for all the ills they suffer--is a
treaty with the United States, which shall admit their product duty free.
Of course any one can see that if the sugar duty were remitted to them,
the planters would make more money, or would lose less. An ingenuous
planter summed up for me one day the whole of that side of the case, by
saying, "If we had plenty of labor and a free market for our sugar, we
should be thoroughly satisfied."

But I am persuaded that, as there are planters now who are prosperous and
contented, and who make handsome returns even with the sugar duty against
them, so, if that were removed, there would be planters who would continue
their regular and slow march toward bankruptcy; and for whom the remitted
duty would be but a temporary respite, while it would deprive them of a
cheap and easy way to account for their failure. Wherever on the islands
I found a planter living on his own plantation, managing it himself, and
_out of debt_, I found him making money, even with low prices for his
sugar, and even if the plantation itself was not favorably placed; not
only this, but I found plantations yielding steady and sufficient profits,
under judicious management, which in previous hands became bankrupt. But
on the other hand, where I found a plantation heavily encumbered with
debt and managed by a superintendent, the owner living elsewhere, I heard
usually, though not always, complaints of hard times. If a sugar planter
has his land and machinery heavily mortgaged at ten or twelve per cent
interest; if he must, moreover, borrow money on his crop in the field to
enable him to turn that into sugar; if then he sends the product to an
agent in Honolulu, who charges him five per cent. for shipping it to San
Francisco; and if in San Francisco another agent charges him five per
cent. more, _on the gross returns including freight and duty_, for selling
it; if besides all this the planter buys his supplies on credit, and is
charged one per cent. a month on these, compounded every three months
until it is paid, and pays almost as much freight on his sugar from the
plantation to Honolulu as from there to its final market--it is highly
probable that he will, in the course of time, fail.

There are not many legitimate enterprises in the world which would bear
such charges and leave a profit to the manager. But it is on this system
that the planting of sugar has been, to a large extent, carried on for
years in the Islands. Under it a good deal of money has been made, but not
by the planters. Nor is this essentially unjust. In the majority of cases,
planters began rashly with small means, and had to borrow largely to
complete their enterprises and get to work. The capitalist of course took
a part of the profits as interest. But the capitalist was in many
cases also the agent and store-keeper in Honolulu; and he shaved off
percentages--all in the way of business--until the planter was really
no more than the foreman of his agent and creditor. When, under such
circumstances, a planter complained that he did not make the fortune he
anticipated, and reasoned that therefore sugar planting in the Islands is
unprofitable, he seemed to me to speak beside the question--for his agent
and creditor, his employer in fact, made no complaint: _he_ always made
money; and as he had invested the money to carry on the enterprise, this
was but the natural result.

The planters make a grave mistake in not acting together and advising
together on their most important interests. There are so few of them that
it should be easy to unite; and yet for lack of concerted action they
suffer important abuses to go on. For instance, it is a serious loss
to the planter that when he ships or engages a hand he must pay a large
"advance," amounting usually to at least half a year's pay. This custom is
hurtful to the laborer, who wastes it, and it inflicts a serious loss
upon the planter. Suppose he employs a hundred men, and pays fifty dollars
advance, he invests at once five thousand dollars for which he gets no
interest, though if, as is probable, he borrowed it, he must pay one
per cent. a month. This abuse could be abolished in a day by the simple
announcement that no planter would hereafter pay more than ten dollars
advance. But it has gone on for years, and the sum paid gets higher every
year merely by the planters outbidding each other.

Again, it is possible to ship sugar from some of the Islands direct to
San Francisco, and for but little more than is now paid for shipping it
to Honolulu. Half a dozen planters on Hawaii or Maui, clubbing together,
could easily get a ship or half a dozen ships to come for their sugar, and
thus save five per cent. on their gross returns, now paid to agents. But
this is not done, partly because so many planters are in need of money,
which they borrow in Honolulu, with the understanding that they will
submit their produce to the management of agents there.

Again, the planters err, I think, in not giving personal study to the
question of a market for their sugar. They leave this to the agents to
manage. No doubt these gentlemen are competent; but it is easy to see that
their interests may be somewhat different from those of the planter. For
instance, some years ago an arrangement was offered by the San Francisco
sugar refineries by which these agreed to take two-thirds of the product
of the plantations in crude sugar, to furnish bags to contain this
product, and to pay cash for it in Honolulu. Under this system the planter
was saved the heavy expense of sugar kegs, and the cost of two agencies
of five per cent. each, besides getting cash in Honolulu, whereas now his
sugar is usually sold at three months in San Francisco, and he probably
loses six months' interest, reckoning from the time his sugar leaves the
plantation. This arrangement, several planters told me, was profitable to
them; but it was discontinued--it was not to the advantage of the agents;
its discontinuance was no doubt a blunder for the planters. Moreover,
the Australian market has been too long neglected; but the advantage of
possessing two markets instead of one is too obvious to require statement.

It is a reasonable conclusion, from all the facts in the case, that
sugar planting can be carried on at a fair and satisfactory profit in the
Hawaiian Islands, wherever skill and careful personal attention are given,
and due economy enforced by a planter who has at the same time sufficient
capital to carry on the business. The example of Captain Makee and Mr.
A.H. Spencer on Maui, of Mr. Isenberg on Kauai and others sufficiently
prove this.

If I seem to have given more space to this sugar question than it appears
to deserve at the hands of a passing traveler, it is because sugar enters
largely into the politics of the Islands. It is the sugar interest which
urges the offer of Pearl River to the United States in exchange for a
treaty of reciprocity; and it is when sugar is low-priced at San Francisco
that the small company of annexationists raises its voice, and sometimes
threatens to raise its flag.

There is room on the different islands for about seventy-five or eighty
more plantations on the scale now common; and there are, I think, still
excellent opportunities for making plantations. The sugar lands unoccupied
are not high-priced; and men skilled in this industry, and with sufficient
capital, can do well there, and live in a delightful climate and among
pleasant society, in a country where, as I have before said, life and
property are more absolutely secure than anywhere else in the world. But
I strongly advise every one to avoid debt. It has been the curse of the
planters, even of those who have kept out of debt, for it has prevented
such unity of action among them as must have before this enabled them to
effect important improvements. For instance, were they out of debt there
is no reason that I can see why they should not succeed in making their
market in Honolulu, and drawing purchasers thither instead of sending
their sugar to far-off markets at their own risk and expense. If ships can
afford to sail in ballast to more distant islands for guano, calling at
Honolulu on the way, it is reasonable to suppose they could afford to come
thither for the more valuable sugar cargoes.

[Illustration: WAILUKU, ISLAND OF MAUI.]

The planters err, I think, in not planting the mountain sides, wherever
these are accessible and have soil, with trees. The forests of the country
are rapidly disappearing, especially from the higher plains and the
grass-bearing slopes. Not only is the wood cut for burning, but the cattle
browse down the young growth; and a pestilent grub has of late attacked
the older trees and destroyed them in great numbers. Already complaints
are heard of the greater dryness and infertility of certain localities,
which I do not doubt comes from suffering the ground to become bare. At
several points I was told that the streams were permanently lower than
in former years--of course because evaporation goes on more rapidly
near their head waters now that the ground is bare. But little care
or forethought is exercised in such matters, however. A few extensive
plantations of trees have been made, notably by Captain Makee on Maui, who
has set out a large number of Australian gum trees. The universal habit
of letting cattle run abroad, and the dearness of lumber for fencing,
discourages tree planting, which yet will be found some day one of the
most profitable investments in the islands, I believe; and I was sorry to
see in many places cocoa-nut groves dying out of old age and neglect, and
no young trees planted to replace them.

It remains to describe to you the "contract labor" system by which the
sugar-plantations are carried on. This has been frequently and, as it
seems to me, unjustly abused as a system of slavery. The laborers hire
themselves out for a stated period, usually, in the case of natives, for
a year, and in the case of Chinese for five years. The contract runs in
English and in Hawaiian or Chinese, and is sufficiently simple. Thus:

    "This Agreement, made and entered into this ---- day of ----, A.D.
    18--, by and between the owners of the ---- plantation, in the
    island of ----, party of the first part, and ---- ----, party of
    the second part, witnesseth:

    "I. The said party of the second part promises to perform such
    labor upon the ---- plantation, in the district of ----, island of
    ----, as the said party of the first part shall direct, and that
    he will faithfully and punctually perform the same as becomes a
    good workman, and that he will obey all lawful commands of the
    said party of the first part, their agents or overseers, during
    the term of ---- months, each month to consist of twenty-six
    working days.

    "II. The party of the first part will well and truly pay, or cause
    to be paid, unto the said party of the second part, at the end
    of each month during which this contract shall remain in force,
    compensation or wages at the rate of ---- dollars for each month,
    if said party of the second part shall well and truly perform his
    labor as aforesaid."

The law requires that this contract shall be signed before a notary
public. The wages are usually eight dollars per month and food, or eleven
dollars per month without food; from which you will see that three dollars
per month will buy sufficient poi, beef, and fish to support a native
laborer in these islands. The engagement is entirely voluntary; the men
understand what they contract to do, and in all the plantations where they
are well treated they re-enlist with great regularity. The vicious custom
of "advances" mentioned above has become a part of the system; it arose,
I suppose, from the fact that the natives who shipped as whalemen received
advance pay; and thus the plantation laborers demanded it too. The
laborers are commonly housed in detached cottages, and live with their
families, the women forming an important, irregular laboring force at
seasons when the work is hurried. But they are not "contract" laborers,
but paid by the day. It has been found the best plan on most of the
plantations to feed the people, and food is so cheap that it is supplied
without stint.

This system has been vigorously, but, I believe, wrongly, attacked. The
recent census is an uncommonly barren document; but there is strong reason
to believe that while there is a general decrease in the population, on
the plantations there is but little if any decrease. In fact, the Hawaiian
living in his valley on his kuliana or small holding, leads an extremely
irregular life. He usually sups at midnight, sleeps a good deal during
the day, and has much idle time on his hands. On the plantations he works
regularly and not too hard, eats at stated intervals, and sleeps all
night. This regularity conduces to health. Moreover, he receives prompt
and sufficient medical attendance, he lives a more social and interesting
life, and he is as well fed, and mostly better lodged. There are very few
instances of abuse or cruelty; indeed, a plantation manager said to me,
"If I were to wrong or abuse one of my men, he would persuade a dozen or
twenty others not to re-enlist when their terms are out, and would
fatally embarrass me;" for it is not easy to get laborers.

There is good reason to believe, therefore, that the plantation laborers
are healthier, more prosperous, and just as happy as those who live
independently; and it is a fact that on most of the islands the greater
part of the younger people are found on the plantations. Churches are
established on or very near all the sugar estates, and the children
are rigorously kept at school there as elsewhere. The people take their
newspaper, discuss their affairs, and have usually a leader or two among
the foremen. On one plantation one of the foremen in the field was pointed
out to me: he was a member of the Legislature.

There is a good deal of complaint of a scarcity of labor. If more
plantations were opened it would be necessary to import laborers; but
for the present, it seems to me, the supply is not deficient. Doubtless,
however, many planters would extend their operations if they could get
workmen readily. Chinese have been brought over, though not in great
numbers; and of late the absurd and cruel persecution of these people in
California has driven several hundred to take refuge in the Islands, where
they are kindly treated and can live comfortably.

The machinery used in the sugar-houses is usually of the best; the larger
plantations all use vacuum-pans; and the planters are usually intelligent
gentlemen, familiar with the best methods of producing sugar, and with the
latest improvements. Yet it is a question whether the expensive machinery
is not in the long run a disadvantage, as it disables them from profitably
making those low grades of sugar which can be cheaply turned out with the
help of an "open train," and which appear to have, in these days, the most
ready sale and the best market.




Kauai lies farthest to leeward of the main islands of the Hawaiian group;
the steamer visits it usually but once a month; and the best way to see
it without unnecessary waste of time is to take passage in a schooner, so
timing your visit as to leave you a week or ten days on the island before
the steamer arrives to carry you back.

We took passage on a little sugar schooner, the _Fairy Queen_, of about
seventy-five tons, commanded by a smart native captain, and sailing one
afternoon about two o'clock, and sleeping comfortably on deck wrapped in
rugs, were landed at Waimea the following morning at day-break.

When you travel on one of these little native schooners you must provide
food for yourself, for poi and a little beef or fish make up the sea
ration as well as the land food of the Hawaiian. In all other respects you
may expect to be treated with the most distinguished consideration and
the most ready and thoughtful kindness by captain and crew; and the
picturesque mountain scenery of Oahu, which you have in sight so long as
daylight lasts, and the lovely star-lit night, with its soft gales and
warm air, combine to make the voyage a delightful adventure.

As usual in these Islands, a church was the first and most conspicuous
landmark which greeted our eyes in the morning. Abundant groves of
cocoa-nuts, for which the place is famous, assured us of a refreshing
morning draught. The little vessel was anchored off the shore, and our
party, jumping into a whale-boat, were quickly and skillfully steered
through the slight surf which pours upon the beach. The boat was pulled
upon the black sand; and the lady who was of my party found herself
carried to the land in the stout arms of the captain; while the rest of us
watched our chance, and, as the waves receded, leaped ashore, and managed
to escape with dry feet. The sun had not yet risen; the early morning was
a little overcast. A few natives, living on the beach, gathered around
and watched curiously the landing of our saddles and saddle-bags from the
boat; presently that pushed off, and our little company sat down upon an
old spar, and watched the schooner as she hoisted sails and bore away for
her proper port, while we waited for the appearance of a native person
of some authority to whom a letter had been directed, requesting him to
provide us with horses and a guide to the house of a friend with whom we
intended to breakfast. Presently three or four men came galloping along
the beach, one of whom, a burly Hawaiian, a silver shield on whose jacket
announced him a local officer of police, reported that he was at our
service with as many horses as we needed.


It is one of the embarrassing incidents of travel on these Islands that
there are no hotels or Inns outside of Honolulu and Hilo. Whether he will
or no the traveler must accept the hospitality of the residents, and
this is so general and so boundless that it would impose a burdensome
obligation, were it not offered in such a kindly and graceful way as to
beguile you into the belief that you are conferring as well as receiving
a favor. Nor is the foreigner alone generous; for the native too, if you
come with a letter from his friend at a distance, places himself and all
he has at your service. When we had reached our friend's house, I asked
my conductor, the policeman, what I should pay him for the use of three
horses and his own services. He replied that he was but too happy to have
been of use to me, as I was the friend of his friend. I managed to force
upon him a proper reward for his attention, but I am persuaded that he
would have been content without.

Kauai is probably the oldest of the Hawaiian group; according to the
geologists it was the first thrown up; the bottom of the ocean began to
crack, up there to the north-west, and the rent extended gradually in the
south-easterly direction necessary to produce the other islands. It would
seem that Kauai must be a good deal older than Hawaii; for, whereas the
latter is covered with undecayed lava and has two active volcanoes, the
former has a rich and deep covering of soil, and, except in a few places,
there are no very plain or conspicuous cones or craters. Of course the
whole island bears the clearest traces of its volcanic origin; and near
Koloa there are three small craters in a very good state of preservation.

Having thus more soil than the other islands, Kauai has also more grass;
being older, not only are its valleys somewhat richer, but its mountains
are also more picturesque than those of Maui and Hawaii, as also they are
much lower. The roads are excellent for horsemen, and for the most part
practicable for carriages, of which, however, there are none to be hired.

The best way to see the island is to land, as we did, at Waimea; ride to
a singular spot called the "barking sands"--a huge sand-hill, gliding down
which you hear a dull rumble like distant thunder, probably the result of
electricity. On the way you meet with a mirage, remarkable for this that
it is a constant phenomenon--that is to say, it is to be seen daily at
certain hours, and is the apparition of a great lake, having sometimes
high waves which seem to submerge the cattle which stand about,
apparently, in the water.

From the sands you return to Waimea, and can ride thence next day to Koloa
in the forenoon, and to Na-Wiliwili in the afternoon. The following day's
ride will bring you to Hanalei, a highly picturesque valley which lies on
the rainy side of the island, Waimea being on the dry side. At Hanalei
you should take the steamer and sail in her around the Palis of Kauai, a
stretch of precipitous cliff twenty-five miles long, the whole of which is
inaccessible from the sea, except by the native people in canoes; and
many parts of which are very lovely and grand. Thus voyaging, you will
circumnavigate the island, returning to Na-Wiliwili, and thence in a night
to Honolulu.

It is easy and pleasant to see Kauai, taking a store of provisions with
you and lodging in native houses. But if you have made some acquaintances
in Honolulu you will be provided with letters of introduction to some of
the hospitable foreign families on this island; and thus the pleasure of
your visit will be greatly increased. I do not, I trust, violate the
laws of hospitality if I say something here of one of these families--the
owners of the little island of Niihau, who have also a charming residence
in the mountains of Kauai. They came to Honolulu ten or twelve years
ago from New Zealand in a ship of their own, containing not only their
household goods, but also some valuable sheep. Thus fitted out they were
sailing over the world, looking for such a little empire to own as they
found in Niihau; and here they settled, selling their ship; and here they
remain, prospering, and living a quiet, peaceful, Arcadian life, with
cattle and sheep on many hills, and with a pleasant, hospitable house,
where children and grandchildren are clustered together, and where the
stranger receives the heartiest of welcomes. It was a curious adventure to
undertake, this sailing over the great Pacific to seek out a proper home;
and I did not tire of listening to the account of their voyage and their
settlement in this new and out-of-the-way land, from the cheery and
delightful grandmother of the family, a Scotch lady, full of the sturdy
character of her country people, and altogether one of the pleasantest
acquaintances I made on the Islands.


Kauai has many German residents, mostly, like these Scotch people I
have spoken of, persons of education and culture, who have brought their
libraries with them, and on whose tables and shelves you may see the best
of the recent literature, as well as the best of the old. A New Yorker who
imagines, cockney-like, that civilization does not reach beyond the sound
of Trinity chimes is startled out of this foolish fancy when he finds
among the planters and missionaries here, as in other parts of these
Islands, men and women of genuine culture maintaining all the essential
forms as well as the realities of civilization; yet living so free
and untrammeled a life that he who comes from the high-pressure social
atmosphere of New York can not help but envy these happy mortals, who seem
to have the good without the worry of civilization, and who have caught
the secret of how to live simply and yet gently.

Kauai has four or five sugar-plantations, some of which are now
successful, though they were not always so. Success has been attained by
a resolute expenditure of money in irrigation ditches, which have made
the land yield constant and remunerative crops. But I could see here, as
elsewhere, that close and careful management--the eye of the master and
the hand of the master--insured the success.

But a large part of the island is given up to cattle. In the mountains
they have gone wild, and parties are made to hunt and shoot these. But on
the plains, of course, they are owned and herded. The raising of cattle is
an important and considerable business on all the Islands; and at present,
I believe, the cattle owners are making a good deal of money. In 1871,
19,384 hides were exported, as well as 185,240 pounds of tallow, 58,900
goat skins, and 471,706 pounds of wool.

The market for beef is limited, and the stockman boils down his beeves.
In many cases the best machinery is used for this purpose; the boiling is
done in closed vessels, and the business is carried on with precision. It
seemed to me, who remembered the high price of beef in our Eastern States,
like a sad waste to see a hundred head of fat steers driven into a corral,
and one after the other knocked on the head, slaughtered, skinned, cut up,
and put into the boilers to be turned into tallow. But it is the only use
to make of the beasts. The refuse, however, is here always wasted, which
appeared to me unnecessary, for it might well be applied to the enrichment
of the pastures.

On many of the ranches you see open try pots used; it is a more wasteful
process, I imagine, but it is simpler and requires a smaller expenditure
of capital for machinery. The cattle are managed here, as in California,
on horseback and with the help of the lasso; and he who on our Pacific
coast is called a _vaquero_, or cow-herd, is here known as a "Spaniol."
Such a native man is pointed out to you as an excellent Spaniol. This
comes from the fact that in the early days of cattle-raising here the
natives knew nothing of their management, and Spaniards had to be imported
from California to teach them the business. The native people now make
excellent vaqueros; they are daring horsemen, and as they work cheaply
and are easily fed and lodged, the management of cattle costs less here,
I imagine, than even in California. But it is necessary to take care that
the pastures shall not be overstocked; and the vast number of horses kept
by the natives is on all the Islands a serious injury to the pasturage of
both sheep and cattle.

The Hawaiian, who seventy-five years ago did not know that there existed
such a creature as a horse, and even fifty years ago beheld it as a
rarity, now can not live without this beast. There are probably more
horses than people on the Islands; and the native family is poor, indeed,
which has not two or three hardy, rough, grass-fed ponies, easy to ride,
sometimes tricky but more often quite trustworthy, and capable of living
where a European donkey would die in disgust. At a horse auction you see a
singular collection of good and bad horses; and it is one of the jokes of
the Islands to go to a horse auction and buy a horse for a quarter of a
dollar. The Government has vainly tried to put a check to the reckless
increase of horseflesh by laying a tax on these animals, and by impounding
them if the tax is not paid. I was told of a planter who bought on one
occasion fifty horses out of a pound, at twenty-five cents a head, and had
them all shot and put into a manure pile. But if the horse is worth his
tax it is pretty certain to be paid; and it is not easy to keep them off
the pastures.

Cattle ranchos usually extend over from fifteen to thirty thousand acres
of land; though many are smaller, and some, on Hawaii, larger. The grass
is of different varieties, but the most useful, as well as now the most
abundant, is the _manienie_, of which I have before made mention. Horses
and sheep, as well as cattle, become very fond of this grass, and eat it
down very close. The handling of the cattle is intrusted to native people,
who live on the rancho or estate; and the planter or stock farmer has
an advantage, in these Islands, in finding a laboring population living
within the bounds of his own place. The large estates were formerly the
property of the chiefs. They are the old "lands." But when the kuliana law
was made, the common people were allowed to take out for themselves such
small holdings as they held in actual cultivation. These kulianas they
still hold; and thus it often happens that within the bounds of a large
estate fifty or sixty families will live on their little freeholds;
and these form a natural and cheap laboring force for the plantation or

On the Island of Niihau, I was told, there are still about three hundred
native people. The sheep are allowed to run at large on the island, there
being no wild animals to disturb them; at lambing and shearing times the
proprietors hire their native tenants to do the necessary work; and these
people at other times fish, raise water-melons and other fruits, and make
mats which are famous for their fine texture and softness, and sell at
handsome prices even in Honolulu.

Where, as is the case almost universally, the relations between the
stockman and the native people are kindly, there is a reciprocity of good
offices, and a ready service from the people, in return for management and
protection by the great proprietor, which is mutually agreeable, and in
which the proprietor stands in some such relation to the people as the
chief in old times, though of course with not a tithe of the power the
ancient rulers had.

At Kauai you will also see rice growing. This is one of the products which
is rapidly increasing in the Islands. Of rice and paddy, or unhulled rice,
the exports were in 1871, 417,011 pounds of the first, and 867,452 of
the last. In 1872 there were exported 455,121 pounds of rice and 894,382
pounds of paddy.

The taro patches make excellent rice fields; and it is an industry in
which the Chinese, who understand it, invest their savings. They employ
native labor; and it is not uncommon to find that a few Chinese have hired
all the taro patches in a valley from their native owners, and then
employ these natives to work for them; an arrangement which is mutually
beneficial, and agreeable besides to the Hawaiian, who has not much of
what we call "enterprise," and does not care to accumulate money. The
windward side of the Islands of Oahu and Kauai produces a great deal of
rice, and this is one of the products which promises to increase largely.
The rice is said to be of excellent quality.

[Illustration: IMPLEMENTS. _a_, Calabash for _poi_.--_b_, Calabash for
fish.--_c_, Water bottle.--_d_, _Poi_ mallets.--_e_, _Poi_ trough.--_f_,
Native bracelet.--_g_, Fiddle.--_h_, Flute.--_i i_, Drums.]

Kauai contained once the most important coffee-plantations; and the large
sugar-plantation of Princeville at Hanalei was originally planted
in coffee. But this tree or shrub is so subject to the attacks of a
leaf-blight that the culture has decreased. Yet coffee grows wild in many
of the valleys and hills, and here and there you find a small plantation
of a few hundred trees which does well. The coffee shrub thrives best in
these Islands among the lava rock, where there seems scarcely any soil;
and it must be sheltered from winds and also from the sun. I have seen
some young plantations placed in the midst of forests where the trees gave
a somewhat dense shade, and these seemed to grow well.

[Illustration: GRASS HOUSE.]



As we rode one day near the sea-shore I heard voices among the rocks, and
sending the guide ahead with the horses, I walked over to the shore
with the lady and children who were my companions. There we saw a sight
characteristic of these islands. Three women decently clothed in a garment
which covered them from head to foot, and a man with only a breech-clout
on, were dashing into the surf, picking up sea-moss, and a little univalve
shell, a limpet, which they flung into small baskets which hung from their
shoulders. They were, in fact, getting their suppers, and they were
quite as much surprised at our appearance as we at theirs. They came out
politely, and showed the children what was in their baskets; the man,
understanding that our horses had gone ahead, kindly volunteered to pilot
us over the rocks to a village near by. I do not imagine that he was
embarrassed at his lack of clothing, and after the first shock of surprise
I am quite sure we were more inclined to admire his straight muscular
figure and his shining dark skin than to complain of his nakedness.
Presently, however, he slipped away into the bush, and re-appeared in a
hat, and a shirt which was so short that even my little girl burst into
laughter at this ridiculous and futile effort toward decency; and thus
arrayed, and with the kindly and gracious smile which illuminates a
Hawaiian's face when he puts himself to some trouble on your account, this
funny guide led us to our horses.

In the evening I related this incident to our host, an old resident, and
said, "I suppose this man could read?" "Read!" he replied; "he can read
and write as well as you. I know him very well; he is a prosperous man,
and is to be the next justice of the peace in that district. He doubtless
went home and spent the remainder of the afternoon in reading his

Native life in the Islands is full of such contrasts, and I found, on
examining the labor contracts on several sugar-plantations, that almost
without exception the working people signed their own names.

According to a census taken in December, 1872, the Hawaiian Islands
contained 56,897 souls, of whom 51,531 were natives and half-castes, and
5366 were foreigners. In six years the native population had decreased
7234, and the foreigners had increased 1172. Since 1866, therefore, the
Islands have lost 6062 souls.

Of the foreigners the Chinese are the most numerous, outnumbering all the
other foreign nationalities together except the Americans. Chinese have
been brought over here as coolie laborers on the plantations. They readily
intermarry with the native women, and these unions are usually fruitful
of healthy and bright children. It is said that the Chinese insist upon
taking better care of their children than the native women, uninstructed,
usually give them, and that therefore the Chinese half-caste families
are more thrifty than those of the pure blood Hawaiians. Moreover, the
Chinaman takes care of his wife. He endeavors to form her habits upon the
pattern of his own; and requires of her the performance of fixed duties,
which add to her happiness and health. In fact, the number of half-castes
of all races has increased thirty per cent. in the last six years.

The native population is admirably cared for by the authorities. The
Islands are divided for various governmental purposes into districts;
and in every district where the people are much scattered the government
places a physician--a man of skill and character--to whom it gives a
small salary for attending upon the common people, and he is, I believe,
expected to make a tour of his district at stated intervals. Of course he
is allowed to practice besides for pay. The sugar planters also usually
provide medical attendance for their laborers.

The Government maintains a careful guard over the schools. A compulsory
education law obliges parents, under fixed penalties, to send their
children to school; and besides the common or primary schools, there are a
number of academies, most of which receive some help from the Government,
while all are under Government supervision. The census gives the number of
children between six and fifteen years of age at 6931; and there are 324
teachers, or one teacher for every twenty-seven children in the whole
group. Attendance at school is, I suspect, more general here than in any
other country in the world. The last report of W.P. Kamakau, the President
of the Board of Education, made in March, 1872, returns 8287 children
actually attending upon 245 schools of various grades, 202 being common
schools. Under this system there is scarcely a Hawaiian of proper age who
can not both read and write.

Churches they maintain by voluntary effort, and their contributions are
very liberal. They take a pride in such organizations. Dr. Coan's native
church at Hilo contributes $1200 per year to foreign missions.

There are no beggars, and no public paupers except the insane, who are
cared for in an asylum near Honolulu, and the lepers, who are confined
upon a part of Molokai. The convicts and the boys in the reform school
contribute to their own support by their labor. The Queen's Hospital is
only for curable cases, and the people take care of their own infirm, aged
and otherwise incapable dependents.

It seems to me that very unusual judgment has been shown in the manner
in which benevolent and penal institutions have been created and managed
among these people; for the tendency almost everywhere in countries which
call themselves more highly civilized is to make the poor dependent
upon charity, and thus a fatal blow is struck at their character and
respectability. Here, partly of course because the means of living are
very abundant and easily got, but also, I think, because the government
has been wisely managed, the people have not been taught to look toward
public charity for relief; and though we Americans, who live in a big
country, are apt to think slightingly of what some one called a toy
kingdom, any one who has undertaken to manage or organize even a small
community at home will recognize the fact that it is a task beset by

But in these Islands a state, a society, has been created within a quarter
of a century, and it has been very ably done. I am glad that it has been
done mainly by Americans. Chief-justice Lee, now dead, but whose memory
is deservedly cherished here; Dr. Judd, who died in August, 1873; Mr. C.C.
Harris, lately Minister of Foreign Relations, and for many years occupying
different prominent positions in the Government; Dr. J. Mott Smith, lately
the Minister of Finance; Chief-justice Allen, and Mr. Armstrong, long at
the head of the Educational Department, the father of General Armstrong,
President of the Hampton University in Virginia, deserve, perhaps, the
chief credit for this work. They were the organizers who supplemented the
labors of the missionaries; and, fortunately for the native people, they
were all men of honor, of self-restraint, of goodness of heart, who knew
how to rule wisely and not too much, and who protected the people without
destroying their independence. What they have done would have given them
fame had it not been done two thousand miles from the nearest continent,
and at least five thousand from any place where reputations are made.

Of a total native population of 51,531, 6580 are returned by the census
as freeholders--more than one in every eight. Only 4772 are returned
as plantation laborers, and of these probably a third are Chinese; 2115
returned themselves as mechanics, which is a very large proportion of
the total able-bodied population. I believe that both freeholders and
mechanics find employment on the plantations as occasional laborers.

A people so circumstanced, well taught in schools, freeholders to a large
extent, living in a mild and salubrious climate, and with cheap and proper
food, ought not, one would say, to decrease. There are, of course, several
reasons for their very rapid decrease, and all of them come from contact
with the whites. These brought among them diseases which have corrupted
their blood, and made them infertile and of poor stamina. But to this,
which is the chief cause, must be added, I suspect, another less generally

The deleterious habit of wearing clothes has, I do not doubt, done much to
kill off the Hawaiian people. If you think for a moment, you will see
that to adopt civilized habits was for them to make a prodigious change in
their ways of life. Formerly the maro and the slight covering of the tapa
alone shielded them from the sun and rain. Their bodies became hardy
by exposure. Their employments--fishing, taro-planting, tapa-making,
bird-catching, canoe-making--were all laborious, and pursued out-of-doors.
Their grass houses, with openings for doors and windows, were, at any
rate, tolerably well ventilated. Take the man accustomed thus to live,
and put shoes on his feet, a hat on his head, a shirt on his back, and
trowsers about his legs, and lodge him in a house with close-shutting
doors and windows, and you expose his constitution to a very serious
strain, especially in a country where there is a good deal of rain. Being,
after all, but half civilized, he will probably sleep in a wet shirt, or
cumber his feet with wet shoes; he will most likely neglect to open his
windows at night, and poison himself and his family with bad air, to the
influence of which, besides, his unaccustomed lungs will be peculiarly
liable; he will live a less active life under his changed conditions; and
altogether the poor fellow must have an uncommonly fine constitution to
resist it all and escape with his life. At the best, his system will be
relaxed, his power of resistance will be lessened, his chances of recovery
will be diminished in the same degree as his chances of falling ill are
increased. If now you throw in some special disease, corrupting the blood,
and transmitted with fatal certainty to the progeny, the wonder is that a
people so situated have not died out in a single generation.

In fact they have died out pretty fast, though there is reason to believe
that the mortality rate has largely decreased in the last three years;
and careful observers believe even that in the last year there has been
an actual increase, rather than a decrease in the native and half caste
population. In 1832 the Islands had a population of 130,315 souls; in
1836 there were but 108,579; in 1840, only 84,165, of whom 1962 were
foreigners; in 1850, 69,800, of whom 3216 were foreigners; and in 1860,
62,959, of whom 4194 were foreigners. The native population has decreased
over sixty per cent. in forty years.

In the same period the foreigners have increased very slowly, until there
are now in all 5366 foreigners and persons born here, but of foreign
parentage, on the Islands. You will see that while the Hawaiians have so
rapidly decreased that all over the Islands you notice, in waste fields
and desolate house places, the marks of this loss, foreigners have not
been attracted to fill up their places. And this in spite of the facts
that the climate is mild and healthful, the price of living cheap, the
Government liberal, the taxes low, and life and property as secure as in
any part of the world. One would think that a country which offers all
these advantages must be a paradise for poor men; and I do not wonder that
in the United States there is frequent talk of "annexing the Islands."
But, in fact, they offer no advantages, aside from those I have named, to
white settlers, and they have such serious natural disabilities as will
always--or, at least, for the next two or three millions of years--repel
our American people, and all other white settlers.

In the first place, there is very little of what we call agricultural
land on the Islands. They are only mountains rising from the sea, with
extremely little alluvial bottom, and that usually cut up by torrents, and
water-washed into gulches, until it is difficult in many parts to find
a fair field of even fifty acres. From these narrow bottoms, where they
exist, you look into deep gorges or valleys, out of which issue the
streams which force their way through the lower fields into the sea.
These valleys are never extensive, and are always very much broken and
contracted. They are useless for common agricultural purposes. In several
the culture of coffee has been begun; but they are so inaccessible, the
roads into them are so difficult, and the area of arable soil they contain
is, after all, so insignificant, that, even for so valuable a product as
coffee, transportation is found to be costly.

But it is along and in the streams which rush through the bottoms of these
narrow gorges that the Hawaiian is most at home. Go into any of these
valleys, and you will see a surprising sight: along the whole narrow
bottom, and climbing often in terraces the steep hill-sides, you will see
the little taro patches, skillfully laid so as to catch the water, either
directly from the main stream, or from canals taking water out above.

Such a taro patch oftenest contains a sixteenth, less frequently an eighth
of an acre. It consists of soil painfully brought down from above, and
secured by means of substantial stone walls, plastered with mud and
covered with grass, strong enough to resist the force of the torrent. Each
little patch or flat is so laid that a part of the stream shall flow over
it without carrying away the soil; indeed, it is expected to leave some
sediment. And as you look up such a valley you see terrace after terrace
of taro rising before you, the patches often fifty or sixty feet above the
brawling stream, but each receiving its proper proportion of water.

Near by or among these small holdings stand the grass houses of the
proprietors, and you may see them and their wives, their clothing tucked
up, standing over their knees in water, planting or cultivating the crop.
Here the Hawaiian is at home. His horse finds its scanty living on the
grass which fringes the taro patches; indeed, you may see horses here
standing belly deep in fresh water, and feeding on the grasses which grow
on the bottom; and again you find horses raised in the drier parts of
the islands that do not know what water is, never having drunk any thing
wetter than the dew on the grass. Among the taro patches the house place
is as narrow as a fishing schooner's deck--"two steps and overboard." If
you want to walk, it must be on the dikes within which the taro land is
confined; and if you ride, it must be in the middle of the rapid mountain
torrent, or along a narrow bridle-path high up on the precipitous side of
the mountain.

Down near the shore are fish ponds, with wicker gates which admit the
small fry from the sea, but keep in the large fish. Many of these ponds
are hundreds of acres in area, and from them the Hawaiian draws one of
his favorite dishes. Then there may be cocoa-nuts; there are sure to be
bananas and guavas. Beef costs but a trifle, and hogs fatten on taro. The
pandanus furnishes him material for his mats, and of mats he makes his
bed, as well as the floor of his house.

In short, such a gorge or valley as I have tried to describe to you
furnishes in its various parts, including the sea-shore, all that is
needed to make the Hawaiian prosperous; and I have not seen one which
had not its neatly kept school-house and church, and half a dozen framed
houses scattered among the humbler grass huts, to mark the greater wealth
of some--for the Hawaiian holds that the wooden house is a mark of thrift
and respectability.

But the same valley which now supports twenty or thirty native families in
comfort and happiness, and which, no doubt, once yielded food and all the
appliances of life in abundance to one or two hundred, would not tempt any
white man of any nation in the world to live in it, and a thousand such
gorges would not add materially to the prosperity of any white nation.
That is to say, the country is admirably adapted to its native people.
It favors, as it doubtless compelled and formed, all their habits and
customs. But it would repel any one else, and an American farmer would not
give a hundred dollars for the whole Wailuku Valley--if he had to live in
it and work it--though it would be worth many thousands to the natives if
it were once more populous as of old.

As you examine the works of the old Hawaiians, their fish ponds, their
irrigation canals, their long miles of walls inclosing ponds and taro
fields, you will not only see the proofs that the Islands were formerly
far more populous than now, but you will get a respect for the feudal
system of which these works are the remains.

The Hawaiian people, when they first became known to the world, were
several stages removed from mere savagery. They had elaborated a tolerably
perfect system of government and of land tenure, which has since been
swept away, as was inevitable, but which served its day very well indeed.
Under this system the chiefs owned every thing. The common people were
their retainers--followers in war and servants in peace. The chief,
according to an old Hawaiian proverb, owned "all the land, all the sea,
and all the iron cast up by the sea."

[Illustration: HAWAIIAN WARRIORS.]

The land was carefully parceled out among the chiefs, upon the plan of
securing to each one from his own land all that he and his retainers
needed for their lives. What they chiefly required was taro ground, the
sea for fish, the mulberry for tapa, and timber land for canoes; but they
required also _ti_ leaves in which to wrap their parcels, and flowers of
which to make their _les_, or flower necklaces. And I have seen modern
surveys of old "lands" in which the lines were run very irregularly, and
in some cases oven outlying patches were added, because a straight line
from mountain to sea was found to exclude some one product, even so
trifling as the yellow flowers of which _les_ are often made.

On such a "land," and from it, the chief and his people lived. He appears
to have been the brains and they the hands to work it. They owed him two
days' labor in every seven, in which they cultivated his taro, cleaned his
fish pond, caught fish for him, opened paths, made or transported canoes,
and did generally what he required. The remainder of the time was their
own, to cultivate such patches of taro as he allowed them to occupy, or to
do what they pleased. For any important public work he could call out all
his people, and oblige them to labor as long as he chose, and thus were
built the surprisingly solid and extensive walls which inclose the old
fish ponds, and many irrigating canals which show not only long continued
industry, but quite astonishing skill for so rude a people.

The chief was supreme ruler over his people; they lived by his tolerance,
for they owned absolutely nothing, neither land, nor house, nor food, nor
wife, nor child. A high chief was approached only with abject gestures,
and no one dared resist his acts or dispute his will. The sense of
obedience must have been very strong, for it has survived every change;
and only the other day a friend of mine saw a Hawaiian lady, a chiefess,
but the wife of an American, and herself tenderly nurtured and a woman of
education and refinement, boxing the ears of a tall native, whom she had
caught furiously abusing his wife, and the man bore his punishment as
meekly as a child. "Why?" "He knows I am his chief, and he would not dare
raise even an angry look toward me; he would not think of it, even," was
her reply, when she was asked how she had courage to interfere in what was
a very violent quarrel. Yet the present law recognizes no allegiance due
to a chief.

When the young king Lunalilo returned to the palace after the coronation,
the pipe-bearer, an old native retainer, approached him on his knees,
and was shocked at being ordered to get up and act like a man. The older
natives to this day approach a chief or chiefess only with humble and
deprecatory bows; and wherever a chief or chiefess travels, the native
people along the road make offerings of the fruits of the ground, and
even of articles of clothing and adornment. One of the curious sights
of Honolulu to us travelers, last spring, was to see long processions of
native people, men, women, and children, marching to the palace to
lay their offerings before the king, who is a high chief. Each brought
something--a man would walk gravely along with a pig under his arm; after
him followed perhaps a little child with half a dozen bananas, a woman
with a chicken tied by a string, a girl with a handkerchief full of eggs,
a boy with a cocoa-nut, an old woman with a calabash of poi, and so on.
In the palace yard all this was laid in a heap before the young king, who
thereupon said thank you, and, with a few kind words, dismissed the people
to their homes.

As an illustration of the power of the old chiefs, as well as of the
density of the population in former times, it is related that when the
wall inclosing a certain fish pond on the windward side of Oahu was to be
built, the chief then ruling over that land gave notice that on a certain
day every man, woman, and child within his domain must appear at a
designated point, bearing a stone. The wall, which stands yet, is half a
mile long, well built, and probably six feet high; and it was begun and
completed in that one day.

[Illustration: LUNALILO.]

I was shown, on Kauai, a young man of insignificant appearance, and of no
particular merit or force of character. To him an old woman recently dying
had by a will, written out for her by a friend of my own, left all her
property--a taro patch, a house, and some other land. My friend asked
why. He is my chief, was the reply; and sure enough, on inquiry my friend
discovered, what he had not before known, that the man was a descendant
of one of the chief families, of whom this old woman had in her early days
been a subject.

As the chief was the ruler, the people looked to him for food in a time of
scarcity. He directed their labors; he protected them against wrong from
others; and as it was his pride that his retainers should be more numerous
and more prosperous than those of the neighboring chief, if the head
possessed brains, no doubt the people were made content. Food was
abundant; commerce was unknown; the chief could not eat or waste more than
his people could easily produce for him; and until disturbing causes came
in with Captain Cook, no doubt feudalism wrought satisfactory results
here. One wonders how it was invented among such a people, or who it was
that first had genius enough to insist on obedience, to make rules, to
prescribe the tabu, and, in short, to evolve order out of chaos.

The tabu was a most ingenious and useful device; and when you hear of the
uses to which it was put, and of its effectiveness, you feel surprised
that it was not found elsewhere as an appurtenance of the feudal
machinery. Thus the chief allowed his people to fish in the part of the
ocean which he owned--which fronted his "land," that is to say. He tabued
one or two kinds of fish, however; these they were forbidden to catch; but
as a fisherman can not, even in these islands, exercise a choice as to the
fish which shall enter his net or bite at his hook, it followed that the
tabued fish were caught--but then they were at once rendered up to the
chief. One variety of taro, which makes poi of a pink color, was tabued
and reserved for the chiefs. Some birds were tabued on account of their
feathers; one especially, a black bird which has a small yellow feather
under each wing. The great feather cloak of Kamehameha I., which is
still kept as a sign of royalty, is made of these feathers, and contains
probably several thousand of them, thus gathered, two from each bird.

Further, a tabu prohibited women from eating with men, even with their
husbands; and when, on the death of the first Kamehameha, his Queen
Kahumanu, an energetic and fearless virago, dared for the first time to
eat with her son, a cry of horror went up as though "great Pan was dead;"
and this bold act really broke the power of the heathen priests.

A tabu forbade women to eat cocoa nuts and some other articles of food;
and the prohibition appears to have been used also to compel sanitary and
other useful restraints, for I have been told that a tabu preserved girls
from marriage until they had attained a certain age, eighteen, I believe;
and to this and some other similar regulations, rigorously enforced in the
old times, I have heard old residents attribute the fertility of the race
before foreigners came in.

[Illustration: KAMEHAMEHA I.]

He who violated a tabu was at once killed. Capital punishment seems to
have been an effective restraint upon crime among these savages, contrary
to the theories of some modern philosophers; probably it was effective for
two reasons, because it was prompt and because it was certain. One wonders
how long the tabu would have been respected, had a violator of it been
lodged in jail for eighteen months, allowed to appeal his case through
three courts, and at last been brained amidst the appeals for mercy of
the most respectable people of his tribe, and had his funeral ceremonies
performed by the high-priest, and closed with a eulogy upon his character,
and insinuations against the sound judgment and uprightness of the chief
who ordered the execution.

The first Kamehameha, who seems to have been a savage of considerable
merit, and a firm believer in capital punishment, subdued the Islands to
his own rule, but he did not aim to break the power of the chiefs over
their people. He established a few general laws, and insisted on peace,
order, and obedience to himself. By right of his conquest all lands were
supposed to be owned by him; he gave to one chief and took away from
another; he rewarded his favorites, but he did not alter the condition of
the people.

[Illustration: QUEEN OF KAMEHAMEHA I.]

But as traders came in, as commerce began, as money came into use, the
feudal system began to be oppressive. Sandal-wood was long one of the
most precious products of these islands--their Chinese name, indeed, is
"Sandal-wood Islands." The chiefs, greedy for money, or for what the ships
brought, forced their unhappy retainers into the mountains to gather this
wood. Exposed to cold, badly fed, and obliged to bear painful burdens,
they died in great numbers, so that it was a blessing to the Islanders
when the wood became scarce. Again, supplies of food were sold by the
chiefs to the ships, and this necessitated unusual labor from the people.
One famous chief for years used his retainers to tow ships into the narrow
harbor of Honolulu, sending them out on the reef, where, up to their
middle in water, they shouldered the tow-line.

Thus when, in 1848; the king, at the instance of that excellent man and
upright judge, Chief-justice Lee, gave the kuliana rights, he relieved the
people of a sore oppression, and at a single blow destroyed feudalism.
The kuliana is the individual holding. Under the kuliana law each native
householder became entitled to the possession in fee of such land as
he had occupied, or chose to occupy and cultivate. He had only to make
application to a government officer, have the tract surveyed, and pay a
small sum to get the title. It is creditable to the chiefs that, under the
influence of the missionaries, they consented to this important change,
fully knowing that it meant independence to the common people and an end
of all feudal rights; but it must be added that a large part of their
lands remained in their hands, making them, of course, still wealthy

Thus the present system of land tenure on the Islands is much the same as
our own; but the holdings of the common people are generally small, and
the chiefs, or their successors in many cases foreigners, still maintain
their right to the sea fisheries as against all who live outside the old
boundaries of their own "lands."

The families of most of the great chiefs have become extinct. Their wealth
became a curse to them when foreigners came in with foreign vices and
foreign luxuries. They are said to have been remarkable as men and women
of extraordinary stature and of uncommon perfection of form. I have been
told of many chiefesses nearly or quite six feet in height, and many
chiefs from six feet two inches to six feet six, and in one case six feet
seven inches high. There is no reason to doubt the universal testimony
that they were, as a class, taller and finer-looking than the common
people; but the older missionaries and residents believe that this arose
not from their being of a different race, but because they were absolutely
relieved from hard work, were more abundantly and carefully fed, and used
the lomi-lomi constantly. It is supposable, too, that in the wars which
prevailed among the tribes the weaklings, if any such were among the
chiefs, were pretty sure to be killed off; and thus a natural selection
went on which weeded out the small and inefficient chiefs.

Their government appears to have been a "despotism tempered by
assassination," for great as was the respect exacted by a chief, and
implicit as was the obedience he commanded, if he pushed his tyranny too
far, his people rose and slew him. Thus on Kauai, in the lower part of
the Hanapepe Valley, a huge cliff is shown, concerning which the tradition
runs that it was once the residence of the chief who ruled this valley.
This person, with a Titanic and Rabelaisian humor, was accustomed to
descend into the valley in the evening, seize a baby and carry it to his
stronghold to serve him as a pillow. Having slept upon it he slew it next
morning; and thus with a refinement of luxury he required a fresh baby
every evening. When patience had ceased to be a virtue, according to our
more modern formula, the people went up one night and knocked his brains
out; and there was a change of dynasties.


The Hawaiian of the present day reads his Bible and newspaper, writes
letters, wears clothes, owns property, serves in the Legislature or
Parliament, votes, teaches school, acts as justice of the peace and even
as judge, is tax collector and assessor, constable and preacher. In spite
of all this, or rather with it, he retains the oddest traces of the habits
and customs of another age. For instance, he will labor for wages; but
he will persistently and for years give away to his relations all his pay
except what he needs for his actual subsistence, and if he is prosperous
he is pretty sure to have quite a swarm of people to support. A lady told
me that having repeatedly clothed her nurse in good apparel, and finding
this liberal soul, every time, in a day or two reduced to her original
somewhat shabby clothing, she at last reproached her for her folly. "What
can I do?" the woman replied; "they come and ask me for the holaku, or the
handkerchief, or whatever I have. Suppose you say they are yours--then
I will not give them away." Accordingly, the next new suit was formally
declared to belong to the mistress: it was not given away. An old woman,
kept chiefly for her skill in lomi-lomi by an American family, asked her
master one day for ten dollars. He gave her two five-dollar gold pieces,
and, to his amazement, saw her hand them over immediately, one to a little
girl and one to a boy, who had evidently come to get the money--not for
her use at all. A cook in my own family asked for the wages due him, which
he had been saving for some time; he received forty-four dollars, and gave
the whole amount at once to his father-in-law, who had come from another
island on purpose to get this money. Nor was it grudged to him, so far as
any of us could see. "By-and-by, if we are poor and in need, they will do
as much for us," is the excuse.

As you ride along in the country, you will see your guide slyly putting a
stone or a bunch of grass on a ledge near some precipice. If you look, you
will see other objects of the same kind lying there. Ask him about it and
he will tell you, with a laugh, that his forefathers in other times did
so, and he does the same. It is, in fact, a peace offering to the
local divinity of the place. Is he, then, an idolater? Not at all; not
necessarily, at least. He is under the compulsion of an old custom; and
he will even tell you that it is all nonsense. The same force leads him
to treat with respect and veneration a chief or chiefess even if abjectly
poor, though before the law the highest chief is no better than the common

They are hearty and even gross feeders; and probably the only
christianized people who live almost entirely on cold victuals. A Hawaiian
does not need a fire to prepare a meal; and at a _luau_, or feast, all the
food is served cold, except the pig, which ought to be hot.

Hospitable and liberal as he is in his daily life, when the Hawaiian
invites his friends to a _luau_ he expects them to pay. He provides for
them roast pig, poi, baked ti-root, which bears a startling resemblance in
looks and taste to New England molasses-cake; raw fish and shrimps, limu,
which is a sea-moss of villainous odor; kuulaau, a mixture of taro and
cocoa-nut, very nice; paalolo, a mixture of sweet-potato and cocoa-nut;
raw and cooked cuttle-fish, roast dog, sea-eggs, if they can be got; and,
if the feast is something above the ordinary, raw pickled salmon with
tomatoes and red-pepper.

The object of such a luau is usually to enable the giver to pay for his
new house, or to raise money for some private object of his own. Notice
of the coming feast is given months beforehand, as also of the amount each
visitor is expected to give. It will be a twenty-five cent, or a fifty
cent, or a dollar luau. The pigs--the centre-piece of the feast--have
been fattening for a year before. The affair is much discussed. It is
indispensable that all who attend shall come in brand-new clothing, and a
native person will rather deny himself the feast than appear in garments
which have been worn before. A few of the relatives of the feast-giver act
as stewards, and they must be dressed strictly alike. At one luau which I
had the happiness to attend the six men who acted as stewards were arrayed
in green cotton shirts and crimson cotton trowsers, and had green wreaths
on their heads. I need not say that they presented a truly magnificent

To such a luau people ride thirty or forty miles; arriving often the
evening beforehand, in order to be early at the feast next day. When they
sit down each person receives his abundant share of pig, neatly wrapped in
ti-leaves; to the remainder of the food he helps himself as he likes. They
eat, and eat, and eat; they beat their stomachs with satisfaction; they
talk and eat; they ride about awhile, and eat again; they laugh, sing,
and eat. At last a man finds he can hold no more. He is "pau"--done. He
declares himself "mauna"--a mountain; and points to his abdomen in proof
of his statement. Then, unless he expects a recurrence of hunger, he
carefully wraps up the fragments and bones which remain of his portion
of pig, and these he must take with him. It would be the height of
impoliteness to leave them; and each visitor scrupulously takes away
every remaining bit of his share. If now you look you will see a calabash
somewhere in the middle of the floor, into which each, as he completes his
meal, put his quarter or half dollar.

In the evening there are dancing and singing, and then you may hear and
see the extremely dramatic meles of the Hawaiians--a kind of rapid chant,
the tones of which have a singular fascination for my ears. A man and
woman, usually elderly or middle-aged people, sit down opposite each
other, or side by side facing the company. One begins and the other
joins in; the sound is as of a shrill kind of drone; it is accompanied by
gesticulations; and each chant lasts about two or three minutes, and ends
in a jerk. The swaying of the lithe figures, the vehement and passionate
movements of the arms and head, the tragic intensity of the looks, and the
very peculiar music, all unite to fasten one's attention, and to make this
spectacle of mele singing, as I have said, singularly fascinating.

The language of the meles is a dialect now unused, and unintelligible even
to most of the people. The whole chant concerns itself, however, with a
detailed description of the person of the man or woman or child to which
or in whose honor it is sung. Thus a mele will begin with the hair, which
may be likened in beauty to the sea-moss found on a certain part of Kauai;
or the teeth, which "resemble the beautiful white pebbles which men pick
up on the beach of Kaalui Bay on Maui;" and so on. Indeed an ancient
Hawaiian mele is probably, in its construction, much like the Song of
Solomon; though I am told that the old meles concerned themselves with
personal details by no means suitable for modern ears. A mele is always
sung for or about some particular person. Thus I have heard meles for the
present king; meles for a man or woman present; meles for a chief; and on
one occasion I was told they sang a mele for me; and I judged, from the
laughter some parts of it excited, that my feelings were saved by my
ignorance of the language.

On all festive occasions, and on many others, the Hawaiian loves to dress
his head with flowers and green wreaths. Les or garlands are made of
several substances besides flowers; though the most favorite are composed
of jasmine flowers, or the brilliant yellow flowers of one kind of ginger,
which give out a somewhat overpowering odor. These are hung around the
neck. For the head they like to use wreaths of the maile shrub, which has
an agreeable odor, something like that of the cherry sticks which smokers
like for pipe stems. This ornamentation does not look amiss on the young,
for to youth much is forgiven; but it is a little startling, at a luau,
to see old crones and grave grandfathers arrayed with equal gayety; and I
confess that though while the flowers and leaves are fresh the decorated
assembly is picturesque, especially as the women wear their hair flowing,
and many have beautiful wavy tresses, yet toward evening, when the
maile has wilted and the garlands are rumpled and decaying, this kind of
ornamentation gives an air of dissipation to the company which it by no
means deserves.

Finally, the daily life of the Hawaiian, if he lives near the sea-coast
and is master of his own life, is divided between fishing, taro planting,
poi making, and mat weaving. All these but the last are laborious
occupations; but they do not make hard work of them. Two days' labor every
week will provide abundant food for a man and his family. He has from five
to ten dollars a year of taxes to pay, and this money he can easily earn.
The sea always supplies him with fish, sea-moss, and other food. He is
fond of fussing at different things; but he also lies down on the grass
a good deal--why shouldn't he?--he reads his paper, he plays at cards,
he rides about a good deal, he sleeps more or less, and about midnight he
gets up and eats a hearty supper. Altogether he is a very happy creature,
and by no means a bad one. You need not lock your door against him; and an
election and a luau occasionally, give him all the excitement he craves,
and that not of an unwholesome kind.

What there is happy about his life he owes to the fine climate and the
missionaries. The latter have given him education enough to read his Bible
and newspaper, and thus to take some interest in and have some knowledge
of affairs in the world at large. They and their successors, the political
rulers, have made life and property secure, and caused roads and bridges
to be built and maintained; and the Hawaiian is fond of moving about. The
little inter-island steamer and the schooners are always full of people
on their travels; and as they do not have hotel bills to pay, but live on
their friends on these visits, there is a great deal of such movement.

It would hardly do to compare the Hawaiian people with those of New
England; but they will compare favorably in comfort, in intelligence,
in wealth, in morals, and in happiness with the common people of most
European nations; and when one sees here how happily people can live in a
small way, and without ambitious striving for wealth or a career, he
can not but wonder if, after all, in the year 2873, our pushing and
hard-pushed civilization of the nineteenth century will get as great
praise as it gets from ourselves, its victims.




Commercial relations form and foster political alliances, especially
between a weak state and a strong one. The annual report for 1872 of
imports and exports, made up by the Collector-general of the Hawaiian
Kingdom, shows how completely the Islands depend upon the United States.

Of 146 merchant vessels and steamers entered at Hawaiian ports during
1872, 90 were American, only 15 were English; 6 were German, 9 belonged
to other nations, and 26 were Hawaiian. Of a total of 98,647 tons of
shipping, 73,975 were American, 6714 Hawaiian, and but 7741 British. Of 47
whaling vessels calling at Island ports during the year, 42 were American,
2 Hawaiian, and 3 British.

Of a little less than 16,000,000 pounds of sugar exported during the
same year, 14,500,000 were sent to the United States; of 39,000 pounds
of coffee 34,000 were sent to us; of 1,349,503 pounds of rice and paddy
exported, 1,317,203 pounds came to the United States. All the cotton, all
the goat-skins, nearly all the hides, all the wool, the greater part
of the peanuts and the pulu, in short, almost the whole exports of the
Islands, are sent to the United States.

On the other hand, of $1,234,147, the value of duty-paying merchandise
imported during 1872 into the Islands, $806,111 worth came from the United
States, $155,939 from Great Britain, and $205,396 from Germany. Besides
this, of the total value of bonded goods, $349,435, the large amount
of $135,487 was brought from sea by whalemen, almost all of whom were
Americans; and $99,567 worth was goods from the United States; or $235,000
of American products against $21,801 of British, and $23,904 of German
importation, in bond.

It is plain that the Island trade is so largely in our hands that no other
nation can be said to dispute it with us. If our flag flew over Honolulu
we could hardly expect to have a more complete monopoly of
Hawaiian commerce than we already enjoy. Moreover, almost all the
sugar-plantations--the most productive and valuable property on the
Islands--are owned by Americans; and the same is true of the greater
number of stock farms.

Our political predominance on the Islands is as complete as the
commercial. In the present cabinet all the ministers except one are
Americans. This was true also of the cabinet of the late king. Of the
Supreme Court, two of the judges are Americans, and one is German. Almost
all the executive and administrative offices are in the hands of Americans
or Hawaiians.

Nor can any foreign power rightly find fault with this state of things.
What the Islands are they are because of American effort, American
enterprise, American capital. American missionaries civilized them;
Americans gave them laws wisely adapted to the customs and habits of
their people; American enterprise and Boston capital established the sugar
culture and other of the important industries; perhaps I ought to add that
American sailors spread among the Islands the vices and diseases which,
more than all else, have caused the rapid decrease of the population,
and to combat and check which added toil and trouble to the labors of the
American missionaries.

The government of the Hawaiian Islands consists of a king and a
Parliament. The Parliament meets once in two years; and under the late
king consisted of but a single House. The present king has promised to
call together two Houses, of which but one will be elected. The other
consists of "Nobles," who are nominated or created by the king for life,
but have no title nor salary unless they are called to office. By the
Constitution the reigning king appoints his successor, but his nomination
must be confirmed by the Nobles. As, however, he may at pleasure increase
the number of Nobles, the appointment virtually rests with him. If he dies
without naming a successor, the Parliament has the right and duty to elect
a new sovereign.

There is a slight property qualification for voters, and a heavier one for
members of Parliament.

The revenue of the Government, which amounts to about half a million
per annum, is derived from the various sources specified in the official
returns of the Minister of Finance, which I copy below. It must be
understood that this report covers two years:

The balance in the Treasury at the close of the last
fiscal period (March 31, 1870) was  .  .   .  .   .  .  .  .  $61,580.20

And there has been received from Foreign Imports  396,418.15
   "       "       " Fines, Penalties, and Costs   47,289.13
   "       "       "           Internal Commerce   98,982.51
   "       "       "                       Taxes  215,962.51
   "       "       "        Fees and Perquisites   22,194.45
   "       "       "     Government Realizations  124,071.37
   "       "       "       Miscellaneous Sources   60,038.23
                                                 ----------- $964,956.35

The expenditures during two years are detailed thus in the same report:

For Civil List  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   $50,000.00
 "  Permanent Settlements   .  .  .  .    18,000.00
 "  Legislature and Privy Council .  .    15,281.63
 "  Department of Judiciary .  .  .  .    73,562.61
 "      "         Foreign Affairs and War 98,028.24
 "      "         Interior  .  .  .  .   396,806.41
 "      "         Finance   .  .  .  .   141,345.29
 "      "         Attorney-general   .    88,412.17
 "  Bureau of Public Instruction  .  .    88,347.79
                                        ----------- $969,784.14
Balance on hand March 31, 1872 .  .  .  .  .  .  .   $56,752.41

The internal taxes include the property tax, which is quite low, one and
a half per cent. Every male adult pays a poll tax of one dollar, a school
tax of two dollars, and a road tax of two dollars. The following is the
detail of the internal taxes for the two years 1870-72:

Real Estate and Personal Property  $97,685.11
Horses   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  53,006.00
Dogs  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  22,271.40
Mules .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   6,140.00
Carriages   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   3,125.00
Poll  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  27,841.00
Native Seamen  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   5,894.00

Among the licenses the monopoly of opium selling brings the Government
$22,248, a prodigious sum when it is considered that there are but
2500 Chinese in the Islands; these being the chief, though not the only
consumers. There is, besides, a duty of ten per cent. on the opium when
imported, and the merchant must make his profit. I had the curiosity
to look a little into the opium consumption. It is said that its use is
slowly spreading among the natives, particularly where these are employed
with Chinese on the plantations. But the quantity used by the Chinese
themselves is prodigious. I was shown one man, a cook, whose wages,
fourteen dollars per month, were entirely spent on opium; and whose master
supplied the poor creature with clothes, because he had nothing left out
of his pay. In other cases the amount spent was nearly as great.

Eight thousand two hundred and sixty-five dollars were also realized for
awa licenses. Awa is a root the use of which produces a frightful kind
of intoxication, in which the victim falls into stupor, his features
are contorted, and he has seizures resembling epilepsy. The body of the
habitual awa drinker becomes covered with white scales; and it is said
that awa drinking predisposes to leprosy. The manner of preparing awa
is peculiarly disgusting. The root is chewed by women, and they spit out
well-chewed mouthfuls into a calabash. Here it settles, and the liquor is
then drunk. It is said that in old times the chiefs used to get together
the prettiest young girls to chew awa for them.

The king receives a salary of $22,500 per annum; the cabinet ministers and
the chief-justice receive $5000, and the two associate justices $4000
per annum. These are the largest salaries paid; and in general the public
service of the Islands is very cheaply as well as ably and conscientiously
conducted. There is an opportunity for retrenchment in abolishing some of
the offices; but the saving which could thus be effected would after all
not be great. The present Government means, I have been told, to undertake
some reforms; these will probably consist in getting the king to turn the
crown lands into public lands, to be sold or leased for the benefit of the
treasury. They are now leased, and the income is a perquisite of the king,
a poor piece of policy, for the chiefs from among whom a sovereign is
selected are all wealthy; the present king, for instance, has an income
of probably $25,000 per annum from private property of his own. It is also
proposed to lessen the number of cabinet ministers; but this will scarcely
be done. They are but four in number now, having charge of Foreign
Affairs, Finance, and the Interior and Law Departments.

There is a debt of about $300,000 which is entirely held within the
kingdom; and the public property is of value sufficient to pay three times
this sum. It is probable, however, that, like many other governments,
the Hawaiian ministry will have to deal with a deficit when the next
Legislature meets; and this will probably bring reform and retrenchment
before them. There is not much hope of increasing the revenue from new and
still untouched sources, for there are but few such.

The taxable industries and wealth of the Islands can not be very greatly
increased. Finding yourself in a tropical country, with a charming and
equable climate, and with abundant rains, you are apt to think that, given
only a little soil, many things would grow and could be profitably raised.
It is one of the surprises of a visitor to the Hawaiian group to discover
that in reality very few products succeed here.

Coffee was largely planted, and promised to become a staple of the
Islands; but a blight attacked the trees and proved so incurable that
the best plantations were dug up and turned into sugar; and the export of
coffee, which has been very variable, but which rose to 415,000 pounds
in 1870, fell to 47,000 pounds in the next year, and to 39,276 pounds in

Sea-island cotton would yield excellent crops if it were not that a
caterpillar devours the young plants, so that its culture has almost
ceased. Only 10,000 pounds were exported in 1872. The orange thrives in so
few localities on the Islands that it is not an article of commerce: only
two boxes were exported last year, though San Francisco brings this fruit
from Otaheite by a voyage of thirty days. A burr worse than any found
in California discourages the sheep-raiser in some of the Islands. The
cacao-tree has been tried, but a blight kills it. In the garden of Dr.
Hillebrandt, near Honolulu, I saw specimens of the cinnamon and allspice
trees; but again I was told that the blight attacked them, and did not
allow them to prosper. Wheat and other cereals grow and mature, but they
are subject to the attacks of weevil, so that they can not be stored or
shipped; and if you feed your horse oats or barley in Honolulu, these have
been imported from California. Silk-worms have been tried but failed. Rice
does well, and its culture is increasing.

Moreover, there is but an inconsiderable local market. A farmer on
Maui told me he had sent twenty bags of potatoes to Honolulu, and so
overstocked the market that he got back only the price of his bags. Eggs
and all other perishable products, for the same reason, vary much in
price, and are at times high-priced and hardly attainable. It will not do
for the farmer to raise much for sale. The population is not only divided
among different and distant islands, but it consists for much the largest
part of people who live sufficiently well on taro, sweet-potatoes, fish,
pork, and beef--all articles which they raise for themselves, and which
they get by labor and against disadvantages which few white farmers would

For instance, the Puna coast of Hawaii is a district where for thirty
miles there is so little fresh water to be found that travelers must bring
their own supplies in bottles; and Dr. Coan told me that in former days
the people, knowing that he could not drink the brackish stuff which
satisfied them, used to collect fresh water for his use when he made the
missionary tour, from the drippings of dew in caves. Wells are here out
of the question, for there is no soil except a little decomposed lava, and
the lava lets through all the water which comes from rains. There are
few or no streams to be led down from the mountains. There are no fields,
according to our meaning of the word.

Formerly the people in this district were numbered by thousands: even
yet there is a considerable population, not unprosperous by any means.
Churches and schools are as frequent as in the best part of New England.
Yet when I asked a native to show me his sweet-potato patch, he took me
to the most curious and barren-looking collection of lava you can imagine,
surrounded, too, by a very formidable wall made of lava, and explained
to me that by digging holes in the lava where it was a little decayed,
carrying a handful of earth to each of these holes, and planting there in
a wet season, he got a very satisfactory crop. Not only that, but being
desirous of something more than a bare living, this man had planted a
little coffee in the same way, and had just sold 1600 pounds, his last
crop. He owned a good wooden house; politely gave up his own mats for me
to sleep on; possessed a Bible and a number of other works in Hawaiian;
after supper called his family together, who squatted on the floor while
he read from his Scriptures, and, after singing a hymn, knelt in family
prayers; and finally spent half an hour before going to bed in looking
over his newspaper. This man, thoroughly respectable, of good repute,
hospitable, comfortable in every way so far as I could see, lived,
and lived well, on twenty or thirty acres of lava, of which not even a
Vermonter would have given ten cents for a thousand acres; and which was
worthless to any one except a native Hawaiian.

Take next the grazing lands. In many parts they are so poorly supplied
with water that they can not carry much stock. They also are often
astonishingly broken up, for they frequently lie high up on the sides of
the mountains, and in many parts they are rocky and lava-covered beyond
belief. On Hawaii, the largest island, lava covers and makes desolate
hundreds of thousands of acres, and on the other and smaller islands,
except, perhaps, Kauai, there is corresponding desolation. Thus the area
of grazing lands is less than one would think. But on the other hand,
cattle are very cheaply raised. They require but little attention; and the
stock-owners, who are now boiling down their cattle and selling merely
the hides and tallow, are said to be just at this time the most prosperous
people on the Islands. Sheep are kept too, but not in great flocks except
upon the small island of Niihau, which was bought some years ago by two
brothers, Sinclair by name, who have now a flock of fifteen or eighteen
thousand sheep there, I am told; on Molokai and part of Hawaii; and upon
the small island of Lanai, where Captain Gibson has six or eight thousand

One of the conspicuous trees of the Hawaiian forests is the Kukui or
candle-nut. Its pale green foliage gives the mountain sides sometimes a
disagreeable look; though where it grows among the Ko trees, whose leaves
are of a dark green, the contrast is not unpleasant. From its abundance
I supposed the candle-nut might be made an article of export; but the
country is so rough that the gathering of the nuts is very laborious; and
several persons who have experimented in expressing the oil from the nut
have discovered that it did not pay cost. Only two thousand pounds
of Kukui nuts were exported in 1872.

Sandal-wood was once a chief article of export. It grows on the higher
mountain slopes, and is still collected, for 20,232 pounds were exported
in 1872, and a small quantity is worked up in the Islands. The cocoa-nut
is not planted in sufficient quantities to make it an article of commerce.
Only 950 nuts were exported last year. Of pulu 421,227 pounds were
shipped; this is a soft fuzz taken from the crown of a species of fern;
it is used to stuff bedding, and is as warm, though not as durable, as
feathers. Also 32,161 pounds of "fungus," a kind of toad-stool which grows
on decaying wood, and is used in China as an article of food.

There has been no lack of ingenuity, enterprise, or industry among the
inhabitants. The Government has imported several kinds of trees and
plants, as the cinnamon, pepper, and allspice, but they have not
prospered. Private effort has not been wanting either. But nature does not
respond. Sugar and rice are and must it seems continue to be the staples
of the Islands; and the culture of these products will in time be
considerably increased.

This, it appears to me, decides the future of the Islands and the
character of their population. A sugar or rice plantation needs at most
three or four American workmen aside from the manager. The laboring
force will be Hawaiians or Chinese; for they alone work cheaply, and will
content themselves in the situation of plantation laborers. It is likely,
therefore, that the future population of the Islands will consist largely,
as it does now, of Hawaiians and Chinese, and a mixture of these two
races; and, no doubt, these will live very happily there.

[Illustration: NATIVE HAY PEDDLER.]

For farming, in the American sense of the word, the Islands are, as these
facts show, entirely unfit. I asked again and again of residents this
question: "Would you advise your friend in Massachusetts or Illinois, a
farmer with two or three thousand dollars in money, to settle out here?"
and received invariably the answer, "No; it would be wrong to do so."
Transportation of farm products from island to island is too costly; there
is no local market except Honolulu, and that is very rapidly and easily
overstocked; Oregon or California potatoes are sold in the Islands at
a price which would leave the local farmer without a profit. In short,
farming is not a pursuit in the Islands. A farmer would not starve, for
beef is cheap, and he could always raise vegetables enough for himself;
but he would not get ahead. Moreover, perishable fruits, like the banana,
have but a limited chance for export. The Islands, unluckily, lie to
windward of California; and a sailing vessel, beating up to San Francisco,
is very apt to make so long a passage that if she carries bananas they
spoil on the way. Hence but 4520 bunches were shipped from the Islands in
1872--which was all the monthly steamer had room for.

These circumstances seem to settle the question of annexation, which is
sometimes discussed. To annex the Islands would be to burden ourselves
with an outlying territory too distant to be cheaply defended; and
containing a population which will never be homogeneous with our own; a
country which would neither attract nor reward our industrious farmers and
mechanics; which offers not the slightest temptation to emigration, except
a most delightful climate, and which has, and must by its circumstances
and natural formation continue to have, chiefly a mixed population of
Chinese and other coolies, whom it is assuredly not to our interest to
take into our family. I suppose it is a proper rule that we should not
encumber ourselves with territory which by reason of unchangeable natural
causes will repel our farmers and artisans, and which, therefore, will not
become in time Americanized. If this is true, we ought not to annex the
Hawaiian Islands.

Moreover, there is no excuse for annexation, in the desire of the people.
The present Government is mild, just, and liked by the people. They can
easily make it cheaper whenever they want to. The native people are very
strongly opposed to annexation; they have a strong feeling of nationality,
and considerable jealousy of foreign influence. Annexation to our own or
any other country would be without their consent.

As to the residents of foreign birth, a few of them favor annexation to
the United States; but only a few. A large majority would oppose it as
strenuously as the native people. Most of the planters see that it would
break up their labor system, demoralize the workmen, and probably for
years check the production of sugar.

One thing is certain, however. If the Islands ever offer themselves to any
foreign power, it will be to the United States. Their people, foreign as
well as native, look to us as their neighbors and friends; and the king
last summer blurted out one day when too much wine had made him imprudent,
this truth: that if annexation came, it must be to the United States.

As I write a negotiation has been opened with the United States
Government, for the purpose of offering us Pearl River in exchange for a
reciprocity treaty. Pearl River is an extensive, deep, and well-protected
bay, about ten miles from Honolulu. It would answer admirably for a naval
station; and if the United States were a second-rate power likely to be
bullied by other nations, we might need a naval station in the Pacific
Ocean. In our present condition, when no single power dares to make war
with us, and when, unless we become shamelessly aggressive, no alliance of
European powers against us for purposes of war is possible, the chief use
of distant naval stations appears to me to be as convenient out-of-the-way
places for wasting the public money. Pearl River would be an admirable
spot for a dozen pleasant sinecures, and the expenditure of three or four
millions of money. It seems to me, therefore, that it would be a dear
bargain. For the accommodation of merchant steamers and ships and their
repair, Honolulu offers sufficient facilities. There are ingenious
American mechanics there who have even taken a frigate upon a temporary
dry-dock, and repaired her hull.


But justice, kindly feeling, and a due regard for our future interests in
the Pacific Ocean ought to induce us to establish at once a reciprocity
treaty with the Hawaiian Government. We should lose but little revenue;
and should make good that loss by the greater market which would be opened
for our own products, in the Islands. Such a treaty would bring more
capital to the Islands, increase their prosperity, and, at the same time,
bind them still more closely and permanently to us. It would pave the way
to annexation, if that should ever become advisable.

The politics of the Hawaiian Kingdom are not very exciting. In those
fortunate Isles the Legislature troubles itself chiefly about the horse
and dog tax. The late king, who was of an irascible temper, did not always
treat his faithful Commons with conspicuous civility. He sometimes told
them that they had talked long enough and had better adjourn; and they
usually took his advice. The present king, who belonged to "his majesty's
opposition" during the late reign, has yet to develop his qualities as a
ruler. He has shown sound judgment in the nomination of his cabinet;
and he is believed to have the welfare of the people at heart. He is
unmarried; but is not likely to marry; and he will probably nominate a
successor from one of the chief or ruling families still remaining. The
list from which he can choose is not very long; and it is most probable,
as this is written, that he will nominate to succeed him Mrs. Bernice
Pauahi Bishop, wife of the present Minister of Foreign Affairs. Mrs.
Bishop is a lady of education and culture, of fine presence, every way fit
to rule over her people; and her selection would be satisfactory to the
foreign residents as well as to the best of the Hawaiian people.




So much has been said and written of late about the disease called leprosy
and its ravages in the Sandwich Islands that I had the curiosity to visit
the asylum for lepers at Molokai, where now very nearly all the people
suffering from this disease have been collected, under a law which directs
this seclusion.

The steamer _Kilauea_ left Honolulu one evening at half-past five o'clock,
and dropped several of us about two o'clock at night into a whale-boat
near a point on the lee side of Molokai. Here we were landed, and
presently mounted horses and rode seven or eight miles to the house of a
German, Mr. Meyer, who is the superintendent of the leper settlement, and
also, I believe, of a cattle farm which belongs to the heirs of the late

Mr. Meyer has lived on Molokai since 1853. He is married to a Hawaiian,
and has a large family of sons and daughters who have been carefully and
excellently brought up, I was told. Mrs. Meyer, who presided at breakfast,
is one of those tall and grandly proportioned women whom you meet among
the native population not infrequently, who enable you to realize how it
was that in the old times the women exercised great influence in Hawaiian
politics. She seemed born to command, and yet her benevolent countenance
and friendly smile of welcome showed that she would probably rule gently.

From Mr. Meyer's we rode some miles again, until at last we dismounted at
the top or edge of the great precipice, at the foot of which, two thousand
feet below, lies the plain of Kalawao, occupied by the lepers. At the
top we four dismounted, for the trail to the bottom, though not generally
worse than the trail into the Yosemite Valley, has some places which would
be difficult and, perhaps, dangerous for horses.

From the edge of the Pali or precipice the plain below, which contains
about 16,000 acres, looks like an absolute flat, bounded on three sides by
the blue Pacific. Horses awaited us at the bottom, and we soon discovered
that the plain possessed some considerable elevations and depressions. It
is believed to have been once the bottom of a vast crater, of which the
Pali we clambered down formed one of the sides, the others having sunk
beneath the ocean, leaving a few traces on one side. It has yet one
considerable cone, a hill two hundred feet high, a well-preserved
subsidiary crater, on whose bottom grass is now growing, while a
little pool of salt water, which rises and falls with the tide, shows a
connection with the ocean. A ride along the shore showed me also several
other and smaller cones.

The whole great plain is composed of lava stones, and to one unfamiliar
with the habits of these islanders would seem to be an absolutely
sterile desert. Yet here lived, not very many years ago, a considerable
population, who have left the marks of an almost incredible industry in
numerous fields inclosed between walls of lava rock well laid up; and in
what is yet stranger, long rows of stones, like the windrows of hay in a
grass field at home, evidently piled there in order to secure room in the
long, narrow beds thus partly cleared of lava which lay between, to plant
sweet-potatoes. As I rode over the trails worn in the lava by the horses
of the old inhabitants, I thought this plain realized the Vermonter's
saying about a piece of particularly stony ground, that there was not room
in the field to pile up the rocks it contained.

Yet on this apparently desert space, within a quarter of a century more
than a thousand people lived contentedly and prosperously, after their
fashion; and this though fresh water is so scarce that many of them must
have carried their drinking water at least two or even three miles. And
here now live, among the lepers, or rather a little apart from them at
one side of the plain, about a hundred people, the remnant of the former
population, who were too much attached to their homes to leave them, and
accepted sentence of perpetual seclusion here, in common with the lepers,
rather than exile to a less sterile part of the island.

When we had descended the cliff, a short ride brought us to the house of
a luna, or local overseer, a native who is not a leper; and of this house,
being uncontaminated, we took possession.

By a law of the kingdom it is made the duty of the Minister of the
Interior, and under him of the Board of Health, to arrest every one
suspected of leprosy; and if a medical examination shows that he has the
disease, to seclude the leper upon this part of Molokai.

Leprosy, when it is beyond its very earliest stage, is held to be
incurable. He who is sent to Molokai is therefore adjudged civilly dead.
His wife, upon application to the proper court, is granted a decree of
absolute divorce, and may marry again; his estate is administered upon
as though he were dead. He is incapable of suing or being sued; and his
dealings with the world thereafter are through and with the Board of
Health alone.

In order that no doubtful cases may be sent to Molokai there is a hospital
at Kalihi, near Honolulu, where the preliminary examinations are made, and
where Dr. Trousseau, the skillful physician of the Board of Health, son of
the famous Paris physician of the same name, retains people about whom he
is uncertain.

The leper settlement at Molokai was begun so long ago as 1865; but the law
requiring the seclusion of lepers was not enforced under the late king,
who is believed to have been himself a sufferer from this disease, and
who, at any rate, by constantly granting exemptions, discouraged the
officers of the law. Since the accession of the present king, however, it
has been rigidly enforced, and it is this which has caused the sudden and
great outcry about leprosy, which has reached even to the United States,
and has caused many people, it seems, to fear to come to the Islands, as
though a foreigner would be liable to catch the disease.

You must understand that the native people have no fear of the disease.
Until the accession of the present king lepers were commonly kept in the
houses of their families, ate, drank, smoked, and slept with their own
people, and had their wounds dressed at home. If the disease were
quickly or readily contagious, it must have spread very rapidly in such
conditions; and that it did not spread greatly or rapidly is one of
the best proofs that it is not easily transmitted. When I remember how
commonly, among the native people, a whole family smokes out of the same
pipe, and sleeps together under the same tapa, I am surprised that so few
have the disease.

There are at this time eight hundred and four persons, lepers, in the
settlement, besides about one hundred non-lepers, who prefer to remain
there in their ancient homes. Since January, 1865, when the first leper
was sent here, one thousand one hundred and eighty have been received,
of whom seven hundred and fifty-eight were males and four hundred and
twenty-two females. Of this number three hundred and seventy-three
have died, namely, two hundred and forty-six males and one hundred and
twenty-seven females. Forty-two died between April 1 and August 13 of the
present year. The proportion of women to men is smaller than I thought;
and there are about fifty leper children, between the ages of six and
thirteen. Lepers are sterile, and no children have been born at the

So great has been the energy and the vigilance of the Board of Health and
its physician, Dr. Trousseau, that there are not now probably fifty lepers
at large on all the islands, and these are persons who have been hidden
away in the mountains by their relatives. In fact if there was ever any
risk to foreign visitors from leprosy, this is now reduced to the minimum;
and as the disease is not caused by the climate, and can be got, as
the widest experience and the best authorities agree, only by intimate
contact, united with peculiar predisposition of the blood, there is not
the least ground for any foreign visitor to dread it.

When a leper is sent to Molokai, the Government provides him a house, and
he receives, if an adult, three pounds of paiai or unmixed poi, per day,
and three pounds of salt salmon, or five pounds of fresh beef, per week.
Beef is generally preferred.

They are allowed and encouraged to cultivate land, and their products are
bought by the Health Board; but the disease quickly attacks the feet and
hands, and disables the sufferers from labor.

There are two churches in the settlement, one Protestant, with a native
pastor, and one Catholic, with a white priest, a young Frenchman, who has
had the courage to devote himself to his co-religionists.

There is a store, kept by the Board of Health, the articles in which are
sold for cost and expenses. The people receive a good deal of money from
their relatives at home, which they spend in this store. The Government
also supplies all the lepers with clothing; and there is a post-office.
The little schooner which carried me back to Honolulu bore over two
hundred letters, the weekly mail from the leper settlement.

For the bad cases there is a hospital, an extensive range of buildings,
where one hundred patients lay when I visited it. These, being helpless,
are attended by other lepers, and receive extra rations of tea, sugar,
bread, rice, and other food.

Almost every one strong enough to ride has a horse; for the Hawaiians can
not well live without horses. Some of the people live on the shore and
make salt, which you see stored up in pandanus bags under the shelter of
lava bubbles. When I was there a number were engaged in digging a ditch
in which to lay an iron pipe, intended to convey fresh water to the denser
part of the settlement.

Such is the life on the leper settlement of Molokai; a precipitous cliff
at its back two thousand feet high; the ocean, looking here bluer and
lovelier than ever I saw it look elsewhere on three sides of it; the soft
trade-wind blowing across the lava-covered plain; eternal sunshine; a mild
air; horses; and the weekly excitement of the arrival of the schooner from
Honolulu with letters. There is sufficient employment for those who can
and like to work--and the Hawaiian is not an idle creature; and altogether
it is a very contented and happy community. The Islander has strong
feelings and affections, but they do not last long, and the people here
seemed to me to have made themselves quickly at home. I saw very few sad
faces, and there were mirth and laughter, and ready service and pleasant
looks all around us, as we rode or walked over the settlement.

And now, you will ask, what does a leper look like? Well, in the first
place, he is not the leper of the Scriptures; nor, I am assured, is the
disease at all like that which is said to occur in China. Indeed, the
poor Chinese have been unjustly accused of bringing this disease to the
Islands. With the first shipload of Chinese brought to these Islands
came two lepers "white as snow," having, that is to say, a disease very
different from that which now is called leprosy here. They were not
allowed to land, but were sent back in the ship which brought them out.

The Hawaiian leprosy, on the other hand, has been known here for a quarter
of a century, and men died of it before the first Chinese were brought
hither. The name Mai-Pakeh was given it by an accident, a foreigner saying
to a native that he had a disease such as they had in China. There are but
six Chinese in the Molokai leper settlement, and there are three white men

The leprosy of the Islands is a disease of the blood, and not a skin
disease. It can be caught only, I am told, by contact of an abraded
surface with the matter of the leprous sore; and doubtless the familiar
habit of the people, of many smoking the same pipe, has done much to
disseminate it.

Its first noticeable signs are a slight puffiness under the eyes, and a
swelling of the lobes of the ears. To the practiced eyes of Dr. Trousseau
these signs were apparent where I could not perceive them until he laid
his finger on them. Next follow symptoms which vary greatly in different
individuals; but a marked sign is the retraction of the fingers, so that
the hand comes to resemble a bird's claw. In some cases the face swells
in ridges, leaving deep furrows between; and these ridges are shiny and
without feeling, so that a pin may be stuck into one without giving pain
to the person. The features are thus horribly deformed in many instances;
I saw two or three young boys of twelve who looked like old men of sixty.
In some older men and women, the face was at first sight revolting and
baboon-like; I say at first sight, for on a second look the mild sad eye
redeemed the distorted features; it was as though the man were looking out
of a horrible mask.

At a later stage of the disease these rugous swellings break open into
festering sores; the nose and even the eyes are blotted out, and the body
becomes putrid.

In other cases the extremities are most severely attacked. The fingers,
after being drawn in like claws, begin to fester. They do not drop off,
but seem rather to be absorbed, the nails following the stumps down; and I
actually saw finger-nails on a hand that had no fingers. The nails were on
the knuckles; the fingers had all rotted away.

The same process of decay goes on with the toes; in some cases the whole
foot had dropped away; and in many the hands and feet were healed over,
the fingers and toes having first dropped off. But the healing of the sore
is but temporary, for the disease presently breaks out again.

Emaciation does not seem to follow. I saw very few wasted forms, and those
only in the hospitals and among the worst cases. There appears to be an
astonishing tenacity of life, and I was told they mostly choke to death,
or fall into a fever caused by swallowing the poison of their sores when
these attack the nose and throat.

Those diseased give out soon a very sickening odor, and I was much obliged
to a thoughtful man in the settlement, who commanded the lepers who had
gathered together to hear an address from the doctor to form to leeward
of us. I expected to be sickened by the hospitals; but these are so well
kept, and are so easily ventilated by the help of the constantly blowing
trade-wind, that the odor was scarcely perceptible in them.

You will, perhaps, ask how the disease is contracted. I doubt if any one
knows definitely. But from all I heard, I judge that there must be some
degree of predisposition toward it in the person to be contaminated. I
believe I have Dr. Trousseau's leave to say that the contact of a wounded
or abraded surface with the matter of a leprous sore will convey the
disease; this is, of course, inoculation; and he seemed to think no other
method of contamination probable. I was careful to provide myself with a
pair of gloves when I visited the settlement, to protect myself in case I
should be invited to shake hands; but I noticed that the doctor fearlessly
shook hands with some of the worst cases, even where the fingers were
suppurating and wrapped in rags.

There are several women on the Islands, confirmed lepers, whose husbands
are at home and sound; one, notably, where the husband is a white man. On
the other hand, a woman was pointed out to me who had had three husbands,
each of whom in a short time after marrying her became a leper. There
are children lepers, whose parents are not lepers; and there are parents
lepers, whose children are at home and healthy.

There are three white men on the island, lepers, two of them in a very bad
state. So far as I could learn the particulars of their previous history,
they had lived flagitiously loose lives; such as must have corrupted their
blood long before they became lepers. In some other cases of native lepers
I came upon similar histories; and while I do not believe that every case,
or indeed perhaps a majority of cases, involves such a previous career of
vice, I should say that this is certainly a strongly predisposing cause.

As to the danger of infection to a foreign visitor, there is absolutely
none, unless he should undertake to live in native fashion among the
natives, smoking out of their pipes, sleeping under their tapas, and
eating their food with them; and even in such an extreme case his risk
would be very slight now, so thoroughly has the disease been "stamped out"
by the energetic action of Mr. Hall, the Minister of the Interior, Mr.
Samuel G. Wilder, the head of the Board of Health, and Dr. Trousseau, its
physician. In short, there is no more risk of a white resident or traveler
catching leprosy in the Hawaiian Islands than in the city or State of New


I have heard one reason given why this disease has been more frequent in
the last ten years. Ten or twelve years ago the Islands were visited by
smallpox. This disease made terrible ravages, and the Government at once
ordered the people to be vaccinated. There seems to be no doubt that the
vaccine matter used was often taken from persons not previously in sound
health; this was perhaps unavoidable; but intelligent men, long resident
in the Islands, believe that vaccination thus performed with impure matter
had a bad effect upon the people, leaving traces of a resulting corruption
of their blood.

The choice of the plain of Kalawao as the spot on which to seclude the
lepers from all the Islands was very happy. It can not be said that to an
agile native the place is inaccessible, for there are, no doubt, several
points in the great precipice where men and women could make their
way down or up; and there are instances of women swimming around the
precipitous and surf-beaten shore, seven or eight miles, to reach husbands
or friends in the settlement to whom they were devotedly attached. But
it is easily guarded, and, for all practical purposes, the seclusion is

A singular tradition, related to me on the island, points to its use for
such a purpose and gives a sad significance to the leper settlement. It is
said that in the time of the first Kamehameha, the conqueror and hero of
his race, upon an occasion when he visited Molokai, an old sorceress or
priestess sent him word that she had made a garment for him--a robe of
honor--which she desired him to come and get. He returned for answer a
command that she should bring it to him; and when the old hag appeared,
the king desired her to tell him something of the future. She replied that
he would conquer all the Islands, and rule over them but a brief time;
that his own posterity would die out; and that finally all his race would
be gathered together on Molokai; and that this small island would be large
enough to hold them all.

It is probable, of course, that this tale is of recent origin, and that no
priestess of Kamehameha the First possessed so fatal and accurate a gift
of prophecy; but the tale, told me in the midst of the leper asylum,
pointed to the gloomy end of the race with but too plain a finger. The
Hawaiians, once so numerous as to occupy almost all the habitable parts
of all the Islands, have so greatly decreased that they might almost find
their support on the little island of Molokai alone. Happily the decrease
has now ceased.

The great Pali of Molokai, one of the most remarkable and picturesque
sights of the Islands, stretches for a dozen miles along its windward
coast. It is a sheer precipice, in most parts from a thousand to two
thousand feet high, washed by the sea at its base, and having, in most
parts, not a trace of beach. This vast wall of rock is an impressive
sight; here the shipwrecked mariner would be utterly helpless; but would
drown, not merely in sight of land, but with his hands vainly grasping for
even a bush, or root, or a projecting rock.








The State of California extends over somewhat more than ten degrees of
latitude. If it lay along the Atlantic as it lies along the Pacific coast,
its boundaries would include the whole shore-line from Cape Cod to Hilton
Head, and its limits would take in the greater portion of ten of the
original States.

It contains two great mountain ranges--the Sierra Nevada and the Coast
Range. These, running parallel through the State, approach each other so
closely at the south as to leave only the narrow Tejon Pass between them;
while at the north they also come together, Mount Shasta rearing its
splendid snow-covered summit over the two mountain chains where they are

Inclosed within these mountain ranges lies a long, broad, fertile valley,
which was once, no doubt, a great inland sea. It still contains in the
southern part three considerable lakes--the Tulare, Kern, and Buena
Vista--and is now drained from the south by the San Joaquin River, flowing
out of these lakes, and from the north by the Sacramento, which rises near
the base of Mount Shasta. These two rivers, the one flowing north, the
other south, join a few miles below Sacramento, and empty their waters
into the bay of San Francisco.

That part of the great inland plain of California which is drained by the
Sacramento is called after its river. It is more thickly inhabited than
the southern or San Joaquin Valley, partly because the foot-hills on its
eastern side were the scene of the earliest and longest continued, as well
as the most successful, mining operations; partly because the Sacramento
River is navigable for a longer distance than the San Joaquin, and thus
gave facilities for transportation which the lower valley had not; and,
finally, because the Sacramento Valley had a railroad completed through
its whole extent some years earlier than the San Joaquin Valley.

The climate of the Sacramento Valley does not differ greatly from that of
the San Joaquin, yet there are some important distinctions. Lying further
north, it has more rain; in the upper part of the valley they sometimes
see snow; there is not the same necessity for irrigation as in the lower
valley; and though oranges flourish in Marysville, and though the almond
does well as far north as Chico, yet the cherry and the plum take the
place of the orange and lemon; and men build their houses somewhat more
solidly than further south.

The romance of the early gold discovery lies mostly in the Sacramento
Valley and the adjacent foot-hills. Between Sacramento and Marysville lay
Sutter's old fort, and near Marysville is Sutter's farm, where you may
still see his groves of fig-trees, under whose shade the country people
now hold their picnics; his orchards, which still bear fruit; and his
house, which is now a country tavern.

Of all his many leagues of land the old man has, I believe, but a few
acres left; and of the thousands who now inhabit and own what once was
his, not a dozen would recognize him, and many probably scarcely know
his name. His riches melted away, as did those of the great Spanish
proprietors; and he who only a quarter of a century ago owned a territory
larger than some States, and counted his cattle by the thousands--if,
indeed, he ever counted them--who lived in a fort like a European noble of
the feudal times, had an army of Indians at his command, and occasionally
made war on the predatory tribes who were his neighbors, now lives upon a
small annuity granted him by the State of California. He saved little, I
have heard, from the wreck of his fortunes; and of all who were with him
in his earlier days, but one, so far as I know--General Bidwell, of Chico,
an able and honorable gentleman, once Sutter's manager--had the ability to
provide for the future by retaining possession of his own estate of twenty
thousand acres, now by general consent the finest farm in California.

As you go north in California the amount of rain-fall increases. In San
Diego County they are happy with ten inches per annum, and fortunate if
they get five; in Santa Barbara, twelve and a half inches insure their
crops; the Sacramento Valley has an average rain-fall of about twenty
inched, and eighteen inches insure them a full crop on soil properly
prepared. In 1873 they had less, yet the crops did well wherever the
farmers had summer-fallowed the land. This practice is now very general,
and is necessary, in order that the grain may have the advantage of the
early rains. When a farmer plows and prepares his land in the spring, lets
it lie all summer, and sows his grain in November just as the earliest
rain begins, he need not fear for his crop.

There is less difference in climate than one would suppose between
the Sacramento and the San Joaquin valleys. Cattle and sheep live
out-of-doors, and support themselves all the year round in the Shasta
Valley on the north as constantly as in Los Angeles or any other of the
southern counties. The seasons are a little later north than south, but
the difference is slight; and as far north as Red Bluff, in the interior,
they begin their harvest earlier than in Monterey County, far south but
on the coast. Snow rarely lies on the ground in the northern counties more
than a day. The best varieties of the foreign grapes are hardy everywhere.
Light frosts come in December; and in the flower-gardens the geranium
withers to the ground, but springs up from the roots again in March. The
eucalyptus flourishes wherever it has been planted in Northern California;
and as far north as Redding, at the head of the valley, the mercury very
rarely falls below twenty-five degrees, and remains there but a few hours.

[Illustration: WINE VATS.]

As you travel from Marysville, either northward or southward, you will see
before and around you a great wide plain, bounded on the west by the blue
outlines of the Coast Range, and on the east by the foot-hills of the
Sierra: a great level, over which as far as your eye can reach are
scattered groves of grand and picturesque white oaks, which relieve the
solitude of the plain, and make it resemble a well-planted park. Wherever
the valley is settled, you will see neat board fences, roomy barns, and
farm-houses nestling among trees, and flanked by young orchards. You will
not find a great variety of crops, for wheat and barley are the staple
products of this valley; and though the farms here are in general of 640
acres or less, there are not wanting some of those immense estates for
which California is famous; and a single farmer in this valley is said to
have raised on his own land last year one-twentieth of the entire wheat
crop of the State.

Northwest of Marysville the plain is broken by a singularly lovely range
of mountains, the Buttes. They rise abruptly from the plain, and their
peaks reach from two to three thousand feet high. It is an extremely
pretty miniature mountain range, having its peaks, passes, and cañons--all
the features of the Sierra--and it is well worth a visit. Butte is a word
applied to such isolated mountains, which do not form part of a chain, and
which are not uncommon west of the Mississippi. Shasta is called a butte;
Lassen's Peaks are buttes; and the traveler across the continent hears the
word frequently applied to mountain. It is pronounced with the _u_ long.

Along the banks of the Sacramento there are large quantities of land which
is annually overflowed by the river, and much of which is still only used
for pasturage during the dry season, when its grasses support large herds
of cattle and sheep, which are driven to the uplands when the rains begin
to fall. But much of this swamp and tule land has been drained and diked,
and is now used for farm land. It produces heavy crops of wheat, and
its reclamation has been, and continues to be, one of the successful
speculations in land in this State. It will not be long before the shores
of the Sacramento and its tributaries will be for many miles so diked that
these rivers will never break their bounds, and thus a very considerable
area will be added to the fertile farming lands of the State.

Already, however, the Yuba, the Feather, and the American rivers,
tributaries of the Sacramento, have been leveed at different points for
quite another reason. These rivers, once clear and rapidly flowing within
deep banks, are now turbid, in many places shallow, and their bottoms have
been raised from twenty to thirty feet by the accumulation of the washings
from the gold mines in the foot-hills. It is almost incredible the
change the miners have thus produced in the short space of a quarter of a
century. The bed of the Yuba has been raised thirty feet in that time; and
seeing what but a handful of men have effected in so short a period, the
work of water in the denudation of mountains, and the scouring out
or filling up of valleys during geological periods becomes easily

All our Northern fruits thriftily in the Sacramento Valley, and also
the almond, of which thousands of trees have been planted, and a few
considerable orchards are already in bearing. The cherry and the plum do
remarkably well, the latter fruit having as yet no curculio or blight; and
the canning and drying of peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, and pears
are already, as I shall show in detail farther on, a considerable as well
as very profitable business. Dried plums, in particular, sell at a price
which makes the orchards of this fruit very valuable. Excellent raisins
have also been made, and they sell in the open market of San Francisco
for a price very little less than that of the best Malaga raisins. The
climate, with its long dry summer, is very favorable to the drying and
curing of every fruit: no expensive houses, no ovens or other machinery,
are needed. The day is not distant when the great Sacramento plain will
be a vast orchard, and the now unoccupied foot-hills will furnish a large
part of the raisins consumed in the United States. For the present the
population is scant, and cattle, horses, and especially sheep, roam
over hundreds of thousands of acres of soil which needs only industrious
farmers to make it bloom into a garden.

[Illustration: TRAINING A VINE.]

The farmer in this State is a person of uncommon resources and ingenuity.
I think he uses his brains more than our Eastern farmers. I do not mean to
say that he lives better, for he does not. His house is often shabby, even
though he be a man of wealth, and his table is not unfrequently without
milk; he buys his butter with his canned vegetables in San Francisco, and
bread and mutton are the chief part of his living, both being universally
good here. But in managing his land he displays great enterprise, and has
learned how to fit his efforts to the climate and soil.

The gathering of the wheat crop goes on in all the valley lands with
headers, and you will find on all the farms in the Sacramento Valley the
best labor-saving machinery employed, and human labor, which is always the
most costly, put to its best and most profitable uses. They talk here of
steam-plows and steam-wagons for common roads, and I have no doubt the
steam-plow will be first practically and generally used, so far as the
United States are concerned, in these Californian valleys, where I have
seen furrows two miles long, and ten eight-horse teams following each
other with gang-plows.

Withal, they are somewhat ruthless in their pursuit of a wheat crop. You
may see a farmer who plows hundreds of acres, but he will have his wheat
growing up to the edge of his veranda. If he keeps a vegetable garden, he
has performed a heroic act of self-denial; and as for flowers, they must
grow among the wheat or nowhere.

Moreover, while he has great ingenuity in his methods, the farmer of the
Sacramento plain has but little originality in his planting. He raises
wheat and barley. He might raise a dozen, a score, of other products, many
more profitable, and all obliging him to cultivate less ground, but it
is only here and there you meet with one who appreciates the remarkable
capabilities of the soil and climate. Near Tehama some Chinese have in
the last two years grown large crops of pea-nuts, and have, I was told,
realized handsome profits from a nut which will be popular in America,
I suppose, as long as there is a pit or a gallery in a theatre; but the
pea-nut makes a valuable oil, and as it produces enormously here, it will
some day be raised for this use, as much as for the benefit of the
old women who keep fruit-stands on the street corners. It would not be
surprising if the Chinese, who continue to come over to California in
great numbers, should yet show the farmers here what can be done on small
farms by patient and thorough culture. As yet they confine their culture
of land mainly to vegetable gardens.

To the farmer the valley and foot-hill lands of the Sacramento will be the
most attractive; and there are still here thousands of acres in the hands
of the Government and the railroad company to be obtained so cheaply
that, whether for crops or for grazing, it will be some time before the
mountainous lands and the pretty valleys they contain, north of Redding,
the present terminus of the railroad, will attract settlers. But for the
traveler the region north of Redding to the State line offers uncommon

The Sacramento Valley closes in as you journey northward; and at
Red Bluff, which is the head of navigation on the river, you have a
magnificent view of Lassen's Peaks on the east--twin peaks, snow-clad, and
rising high out of the plain--and also of the majestic snow-covered crag
which is known as Shasta Butte, which towers high above the mountains to
the north, and, though here 120 miles off, looks but a day's ride away.

Redding, thirty miles north from Shasta, lies at the head of the
Sacramento Valley. From there a line of stage-coaches proceeds north
into Oregon, through the mass of mountains which separates the Sacramento
Valley in California from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. The stage-road
passes through a very varied and picturesque country, one which few
pleasure travelers see, and which yet is as well worth a visit as any part
of the western coast. The Sacramento River, which rises in a large
spring near the base of Mount Shasta, has worn its way through the high
mountains, and rushes down for nearly a hundred miles of its course an
impetuous, roaring mountain stream, abounding in trout at all seasons,
and in June, July, and August filled with salmon which have come up here
through the Golden Gates from the ocean to spawn. The stage-road follows
almost to its source the devious course of the river, and you ride along
sometimes nearly on a level with the stream, and again on a road-bed cut
out of the steep mountain side a thousand or fifteen hundred feet above
the river; through fine forests of sugar-pines and yellow pines many of
which come almost up to the dimensions of the great sequoias.

The river and its upper tributaries abound in trout, and this region is
famous among Californian sportsmen for deer and fish. Many farm-houses
along the road accommodate travelers who desire to stay to enjoy the fine
scenery, and to hunt and fish; and a notable stopping-place is Fry's Soda
Spring, fourteen hours by stage from Redding, kept by Isaac Fry and his
excellent wife--a clean, comfortable little mountain inn, where you get
good and well-cooked food, and where you will find what your stage ride
will make welcome to you--a comfortable bath. The river is too cold for
bathing here in the mountains because of the snow-water of which it is
composed. About ten miles south of Fry's lies Castle Rock, a remarkable
and most picturesque mountain of white granite, bare for a thousand feet
below its pinnacled summit, which you see as you drive past it on the

Fry's lies in a deep canon, with a singular, almost precipitous, mountain
opposite the house, which terminates in a sharp ridge at the top, one of
those "knife-edge" ridges of which Professor Whitney and Clarence King
often speak in their descriptions of Sierra scenery. If you are a mountain
climber, you have here an opportunity for an adventure, and an excellent
guide in Mr. Fry, who told me that this ridge is sharp enough to straddle,
and that on the other side is an almost precipitous descent, with a fine
lake in the distance. If you wish to hunt deer or bear, you will find
in Fry an expert and experienced hunter. He has a tame doe, which, I was
told, is better than a dog to mark game on a hunt, its sharp ears and
nose detecting the presence of game at a great distance. If you are
a fisherman, there are within three minutes' walk of the house pools
abounding in trout, and you may fish up and down the river as far as you
please, with good success everywhere. In June and July, when the salmon
come up to spawn, they, too, lie in the deepest pools, and with salmon
eggs for bait you may, if you are expert enough with your rod, take many a
fat salmon.

[Illustration: A BOTTLING-CELLAR.]

It is astonishing to see how the salmon crowd the river at the spawning
season. The Indians then gather from a considerable distance, to spear and
trap these fish, which they dry for winter use; and you will see at this
season many picturesque Indian camps along the river. They set a crotch of
two sticks in a salmon pool, and lay a log from the shore to this crotch.
Upon this log the Indian walks out, with a very long spear, two-pronged at
the end and there armed with two bone spear-heads, which are fastened to
the shaft of the spear by very strong cord, usually made of deer's sinews.
The Indian stands very erect and in a really fine attitude, and peers into
the black pool until his eye catches the silver sheen of a salmon. Then
he darts, and instantly you see a commotion in the water as he hauls up
toward the surface a struggling twenty-five or thirty pound fish. The
bone spear heads, when they have penetrated the salmon, come off from the
spear, and the fish is held by the cord. A squaw stands ready on the shore
to haul him in, and he is beaten over the head with a club until he ceases
to struggle, then cleaned, and roasted on hot stones. When the meat is
done and dry it is picked off the bones, and the squaws rub it to a fine
powder between their hands, and in this shape it is packed for future use.

From one of these pools a dozen Indian spearmen frequently draw out four
hundred salmon in a day, and this fish forms an important part of their
food. Of course they kill a great many thousand female salmon during the
season; but so far, I believe, this murderous work has not been found to
decrease the number of the fish which annually enter the river from the
ocean, and go up to its head waters to spawn.

If you visit this region during the last of June or in July, you may watch
the salmon spawning, a most curious and remarkable sight. The great fish
then leave the deep pools in which they have been quietly lying for some
weeks before, and fearlessly run up on the shallow ripples. Here, animated
by a kind of fury, they beat the sand off the shoals with their tails,
until often a female salmon thus labors till her tail fins are entirely
worn off. She then deposits her eggs upon the coarse gravel, and the
greedy trout, which are extravagantly fond of salmon eggs, rush up to eat
them as the poor mother lays them. They are, I believe, watched and beaten
off by the male salmon, which accompanies the female for this purpose.
When the female salmon has deposited her eggs, and the male salmon has
done his part of the work, the two often bring stones of considerable size
in their mouths to cover up the eggs and protect them from the predatory
attacks of the trout.

And thereupon, according to the universal testimony of the fishermen of
these waters, the salmon dies. I was assured that the dead bodies often
cumber the shore after the spawning season is over; and the mountaineers
all assert that the salmon, having once spawned up here, does not go down
to the ocean again. They hold that the young salmon stay in the upper
waters for a year, and go to sea about eighteen months after hatching; and
it is not uncommon, I believe, for fishermen hereabouts to catch grilse
weighing from two to four pounds. These bite sometimes at the fly. The
salmon bite, too, when much smaller, for I caught one day a young salmon
not more than six inches long. This little fellow was taken with a bait
of salmon eggs, and his bright silvery sides made him quite different from
the trout which I was catching out of the same pool. His, head, also
had something of the fierce, predatory, hawk-like form which the older
salmon's has.

Fry is an excellent fisherman himself, and knows all the best pools within
reach of his house, and, if you are a mountaineer, will take you a dozen
miles through the woods to other streams, where you may fish and hunt for
days or weeks with great success, for these woods and waters are as yet
visited by but few sportsmen.

And if you happen to come upon Indian fishermen on your way--they are all
peaceful hereabouts--you may get the noble red man's opinion of the
great Woman Question. As I stood at the road-side one day I saw an Indian
emerging from the woods, carrying his rifle and his pipe. Him followed,
at a respectful distance, his squaw, a little woman not bigger than a
twelve-year-old boy; and _she_ carried, first, a baby; second, three
salmon, each of which weighed not less than twenty pounds; third, a wild
goose, weighing six or eight pounds; finally, a huge bundle of some kind
of greens. This cumbrous and heavy load the Indian had lashed together
with strong thongs, and the squaw carried it on her back, suspended by a
strap which passed across her forehead.

When an Indian kills a deer he loads it on the back of his squaw to carry
home. Arrived there, he lights his pipe, and she skins and cleans the
animal, cuts off a piece sufficient for dinner, lights a fire, and cooks
the meat. This done, the noble red man, who has calmly or impatiently
contemplated these labors of the wife of his bosom, lays down his pipe and
eats his dinner. When he is done, the woman, who has waited at one side,
sits down to hers and eats what he has left.

"Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow." Miss Anthony and
Mrs. Cady Stanton have good missionary ground among these Indians. One
wonders in what language an Indian brave courts the young squaw whom he
wishes to marry; what promises he makes her; what hopes he holds out;
with what enticing views of wedded bliss he lures the Indian maiden to the
altar or whatever may be the Digger substitute for that piece of church
furniture. One wonders that the squaws have not long ago combined and
struck for at least moderately decent treatment; that marriages have not
ceased among them; that there has not arisen among the Diggers, the Pit
River Indians, and all the Indian tribes, some woman capable of leading
her sex in a rebellion.

But, to tell the truth, the Indian women are homely to the last degree.
"Ugly," said an Oregonian to me, as we contemplated a company of
squaws--"ugly is too mild a word to apply to such faces;" and he was
right. Broad-faced, flat-nosed, small-eyed, unkempt, frowzy, undersized,
thickset, clumsy, they have not a trace of beauty about them, either young
or old. They are just useful, nothing more; and as you look at them and
at the burdens they bear, you wonder whether, when the Woman's Rights
movement has succeeded, and when women, dressed like frights in such
Bloomer costume as may then be prescribed, go out to their daily toil like
men, and on an equality with men--when they have cast off the beauty which
is so scornfully spoken of in the conventions, and have secured their
rights--whether they will be any better off than these squaws. When you
have thoughtfully regarded the Indian woman perhaps you will agree with
Gail Hamilton that it is woman's first duty to be useless; for it is plain
that here, as in a higher civilization, when women consent to work as men,
they are sure to have the hardest work and the poorest pay.

[Illustration: INDIAN RANCHERIA.]

As you ascend the Sacramento you near Mount Shasta, and when you reach
Strawberry Valley, a pretty little mountain vale, you are but a short ride
from its base. It is from this point that tourists ascend the mountain.
You can hire horses, guides, and a camp outfit here, and the adventure
requires three days. You ride up to the snow-line the first day, ascend to
the top the following morning, descend to your camp in the afternoon, and
return to the valley on the third day. Mount Shasta has a glacier, almost,
but not quite, the only one, I believe, within the limits of the United
States. The mountain is an extinct volcano. Its summit is composed of
lava, and if your eye is familiar with the peculiar shape of volcanic
peaks, you can easily trace the now broken lines of this old crater as you
view the mountain from the Shasta plain on the north.

There are many extremely pretty valleys scattered through these mountains,
and these are used by small farmers, and by sheep and cattle owners who
in the winter take their stock into the lower valleys, but ascend into the
mountains in May, and remain until October. This is also a timber region,
and as it is well watered by permanent streams you see frequent saw-mills,
and altogether more improvement than one expects to find. But, proceeding
further north you come upon a large plain, the Shasta Valley, in which
lies the considerable town of Yreka, notable during the last winter and
spring as the point from which news came to us about the Modoc war.

From Yreka you may easily visit the celebrated "lava beds," where the
Indians made so stubborn and long-continued a defense against the United
States troops; and at Yreka you may hear several opinions upon the merits
of the Modocs and their war. You will hear, for instance, that the Indians
were stirred up to hostilities by mischievous and designing whites, that
white men were not wanting to supply them with arms and ammunition, and
that, had it not been for the unscrupulous management of some greedy and
wicked whites, we should not have been horrified by the shocking incidents
of this costly Indian trouble, in which the United States Government for
six months waged war against forty-six half-starved Modocs.

The Shasta Valley is an extensive plain, chiefly used at present as
a range for cattle and sheep. But its soil is fertile, and the valley
contains some good farms. Beyond Yreka gold mining is pursued, and,
indeed, almost the whole of the mountain region north of Redding yields
"the color;" and at many points along the Upper Sacramento and the
mountain streams which fall into it, gold is mined profitably. One day,
at the Soda Spring, several of us asked Mr. Fry whether he could find
gold near the river. He took a pan, and digging at random in his orchard,
washed out three or four specks of gold; and he related that when he was
planting this orchard ten years ago he found gold in the holes he dug for
his apple-trees. But he is an old miner, and experience has taught him
that a good apple orchard is more profitable, in the long run, than a poor
gold mine.

A large part of the Sacramento Valley is still used for grazing purposes,
but the farmers press every year more and more upon the graziers; and the
policy of the Government in holding its own lands within what are called
"railroad limits"--that is to say, within twenty miles on each side of the
railroad--for settlement under the pre-emption and homestead laws, as well
as the policy of the railroad company in selling its lands, the alternate
sections for twenty miles on each side of the road, on easy terms and with
long credit to actual settlers, prevents land monopoly in this region.
There is room, and cheap and fertile land, for an immense population
of industrious farmers, who can live here in a mild climate, and till
a fertile soil, and who need only intelligence and enterprise to raise
profitably raisins, orchard fruits, castor-oil, peanuts, silk, and a
dozen other products valuable in the world's commerce, and not produced
elsewhere in this country so easily. It is still in this region a time of
large farms poorly tilled; but I believe that small farms, from 160 to 320
acres, will prove far more profitable in the end.

The progress of California in material enterprises is something quite
wonderful and startling. A year brings about changes for which one can
hardly look in ten years. It is but eighteen months ago that the idea of a
system of irrigation, to include the whole of the San Joaquin Valley, was
broached, and then the most sanguine of the projectors thought that to
give their enterprise a fair start would require years, and a great number
of shrewd men believed the whole scheme visionary. But a few experiments
showed to land-owners and capitalists the enormous advantages of
irrigation, and now this scheme has sufficient capital behind it, and
large land-holders are offering subsidies and mortgaging their lands
to raise means to hasten the completion of the canal. Two years ago
the reclamation of the tule lands, though begun, advanced slowly,
and arguments were required to convince men that tule land was a safe
investment. But this year eight hundred miles of levee will be completed,
and thousands of acres will bear wheat next harvest which were overflowed
eighteen months ago. Two years ago the question whether California could
produce good raisins could not be answered; but last fall raisins which
sold in the San Francisco market beside the best Malagas were cured by
several persons, and it is now certain that this State can produce--and
from its poorest side-hill lands--raisins enough to supply the whole
Union. Not a year passes but some new and valuable product of the soil is
naturalized in this State; and one who has seen the soil and who knows the
climate of the two great valleys, who sees that within five, or, at most,
ten years all their overflowed lands will be diked and reclaimed, and all
their dry lands will be irrigated, and who has, besides, seen how wide is
the range of products which the soil and climate yield, comes at last to
have what seems to most Eastern people an exaggerated view of the future
of California.

But, in truth, it is not easy to exaggerate, for the soil in the great
valleys is deep and of extraordinary fertility; there are no forests to
clear away, and farms lie ready-made to the settlers' hands; the range of
products includes all those of the temperate zone and many of the torrid;
the climate is invigorating, and predisposes to labor; and the seasons are
extraordinarily favorable to the labors of the farmer and gardener. The
people have not yet settled down to hard work. There are so many chances
in life out there that men become overenterprising--a speculative spirit
invades even the farm-house; and as a man can always live--food being
so abundant and the climate so kindly--and as the population is as yet
sparse, men are tempted to go from one avocation to another, to do many
things superficially, and to look for sudden fortunes by the chances of
a shrewd venture, rather than be content to live by patient and continued
labor. This, however, is the condition of all new countries; it will pass
away as population becomes more dense. And, meantime California has gifts
of nature which form a solid substratum upon which will, in a few years,
be built up a community productive far beyond the average of wealthy or
productive communities. This is my conclusion after seeing all parts of
this State more in detail than perhaps any one man has taken the trouble
to examine it.

[Illustration: PIEDRAS BLANCAS.]



I have now seen the grape grow in almost every part of California where
wine is made. The temptation to a new settler in this State is always
strong to plant a vineyard; and I am moved, by much that I have seen, to
repeat here publicly advice I have often given to persons newly coming
into the State: Do not make wine. I remember a wine-cellar, cheaply built,
but with substantial and costly casks, containing (because the vineyard
was badly placed) a mean, thin, fiery wine; and on a pleasant sunny
afternoon, around these casks, a group of tipsy men--hopeless,
irredeemable beasts, with nothing much to do except to encourage each
other to another glass, and to wonder at the Eastern man who would not
drink. There were two or three Indians staggering about the door; there
was swearing and filthy talk inside; there was a pretentious tasting of
this, that, and the other cask by a parcel of sots, who in their hearts
would have preferred "forty-rod" whisky. And a little way off there was a
house with women and children in it, who had only to look out of the door
to see this miserable sight of husband, father, friends, visitors, and
hired men spending the afternoon in getting drunk.

I do not want any one to understand that every vineyard is a nest of
drunkards, for this is not true. In the Napa and Sonoma valleys, in
the foot-hills of the Sierra, at Anaheim and elsewhere in the southern
country, you may find many men cultivating the grape and making wine in
all soberness. But everywhere, and in my own experience nearly as often,
you will see the proprietor, or his sons or his hired men, bearing the
marks of strong drink; and too often, if you come unexpectedly, you will
see some poor wretch in the wine-house who about four o'clock is maudlin.


Seeing all this, I advise no new settler in the State to make wine.
He runs too many risks with children and laborers, even if he himself

In giving this advice, I do not mean to be offensive to the great body of
wine growers in California, which numbers in its list a great many
able, careful, and sober men, who are doing, as they have done, much and
worthily for the prosperity of the State and for the production of good
wine, and whose skill and enterprise are honorable to them. But the best
and most thoughtful of these men will bear me out when I say that wine
growing and making is a business requiring eminent skill and great
practical good sense, and that not every one who comes to California with
means enough to plant a vineyard ought to enter this business or can in
the long run do so safely or profitably.

Fortunately, no one need make wine, though every man may raise grapes;
for it is now a fact, established by sufficient and practical trial,
that raisins, equal in every respect to the best Malaga, can be made in
California from the proper varieties of grapes, and can be sold for a
price which will very handsomely pay the maker, and with a much smaller
investment of capital and less skill than are required to establish a
wine-cellar and make wine. The vineyard owners already complain that they
can not always readily sell their crude wine at a paying price; but the
market for carefully-made raisins is, as I am told by the principal fruit
dealers in San Francisco, open and eager. To make wine requires uncommon
skill and care, and to keep it so that age shall give it that merit which
commands a really good price demands considerable capital in the necessary
outlay for casks. While the skillful wine-maker undoubtedly gets a large
profit on his vines, it begins to be seen here that there is an oversupply
of poorly-made wine.

But any industrious person who has the right kind of grapes can make
raisins; and raisin-making, which in 1871 had still a very uncertain
future in this State, may now safely be called one of the established and
most promising industries here.

In 1872 I ate excellent raisins in Los Angeles, and tolerable ones in
Visalia; but they sell very commonly in the shops what they call
"dried grapes," which are not raisins at all, but damp, sticky,
disagreeable things, not good even in puddings. This year, however, I
have seen in several places good native raisins; and the head of the
largest fruit-importing house in San Francisco told me that one
raisin-maker last fall sold the whole of his crop there at $2 per box
of twenty-five pounds, Malagas of the same quality bringing at the
same time but $2.37-1/2. There is a market for all well-made raisins
that can be produced in the State, he said, and they are preferred to
the foreign product.

At Folsom, Mr. Bugby told me he had made last year 1700 boxes of raisins,
and he was satisfied with the pecuniary return; and I judge from the
testimony of different persons that at seven cents per pound raisins will
pay the farmer very well. The Malaga and the White Muscat are the grapes
which appear here to make the best raisins. Nobody has yet tried the
Seedless Sultana, which, however, bears well here, and would make, I
should think, an excellent cooking raisin.

For making raisins they wait until the grape is fully ripe, and then
carefully cut off the bunches and lay them either on a hard clay floor,
formed in the open air, or on brown paper laid between the vine rows. They
do not trim out poor grapes from the bunches, because, as they assert,
there are none; but I suspect this will have to be done for the very
finest raisins, such as would tempt a reluctant buyer. The bunches require
from eighteen to twenty-four days of exposure in the sun to be cured.
During that time they are gently turned from time to time, and such as are
earliest cured are at once removed to a raisin-house.

This is fitted with shelves, on which the raisins are laid about a foot
thick, and here they are allowed to sweat a little. If they sweat too much
the sugar candies on the outside, and this deteriorates the quality of the
raisin. It is an object to keep the bloom on the berries. They are kept in
the raisin-house, I was told, five or six weeks, when they are dry enough
to box. It is as yet customary to put them in twenty-five pound boxes,
but, no doubt, as more experience is gained, farmers will contrive other
parcels. Chinese do all the work in raisin-making, and are paid one dollar
a day, they supplying themselves with food. There is no rain during the
raisin-making season, and, consequently, the whole outdoor work may be
done securely as well as cheaply.

Enormous quantities of fruit are now put up in tin cans in this State;
and you will be surprised, perhaps--as I was the other day--to hear of an
orchard of peach and apricot trees, which bears this year (1873) its first
full crop, and for one hundred acres of which the owners have received ten
thousand dollars cash, gold, selling the fruit on the trees, without risk
of ripening or trouble of picking.

Yet peaches and apricots are not the most profitable fruits in this State,
for the cherry--the most delicious cherries in the world grow here--is
worth even more; and I suspect that the few farmers who have orchards
of plums, and carefully dry the fruit, make as much money as the cherry
owners. There has sprung up a very lively demand for California dried
plums. They bring from twenty to twenty-two cents per pound at wholesale
in San Francisco, and even as high as thirty cents for the best quality;
and I am told that last season a considerable quantity was shipped
Eastward and sold at a handsome profit in New York.

The plum bears heavily and constantly north of Sacramento, and does not
suffer from the curculio, and the dried fruit is delicious and wholesome.

Some day the farmers who are now experimenting with figs will, I do not
doubt, produce also a marketable dried fig in large quantities. At San
Francisco, in October, 1873, I found in the shops delicious dried figs,
but not in great quantities, nor so thoroughly dried as to bear shipment
to a distance. The tree nourishes in almost all parts of the State.
Usually it bears two and often three crops a year, and it grows into a
noble and stately tree.

I am told that when Smyrna figs sell for twenty to thirty cents per pound,
California figs bring but from five to ten cents. The tree comes into full
bearing, where its location is favorable, in its third or fourth year; and
ought to yield then about sixty pounds of dried figs. I suspect the cost
of labor will control the drying of figs, for they must be picked by hand.
If they fall to the ground they are easily bruised, and the bruised part
turns sour.

They are dried in the shade, and on straw, which lets the air get to every
part. Irrigation is not good after the tree bears, as the figs do not dry
so readily. Birds and ants are fond of the fruit; and in one place I was
told the birds took almost the whole of the first crop. There are many
varieties of the fig grown in this State, but the White Smyrna is, I
believe, thought to be the best for market. There are no large plantations
of this tree in the State, but it is found on almost every farm and
country place, and is a very wholesome fruit when eaten green.

When the farmers of the Sacramento Valley become tired of sowing wheat,
and when the land comes into the hands of small farmers, as it is now
doing to some extent, it will be discovered that fruit-trees are surer and
more profitable than grain. A considerable emigration is now coming into
California; and I advise every one who goes there to farm to lose no time
before planting an orchard. Trees grow very rapidly, and it will be many
years before such fruits as the cherry, plum, apricot, or the raisin-grape
are too abundant to yield to their owners exceptionally large profits.




While you are talking about redeeming the New Jersey marshes these
go-ahead Californians are actually diking and reclaiming similar and, in
some cases, richer overflowed lands by the hundred thousand acres.

If you will take, on a map of California, Stockton, Sacramento, and San
Francisco for guiding points, you will see that a large part of the land
lying between these cities is marked "swamp and overflowed." Until within
five or six years these lands attracted but little attention. It was known
that they were extremely fertile, but it was thought that the cost and
uncertainty of reclaiming them were too great to warrant the enterprise.
Of late, however, they have been rapidly bought up by capitalists, and
their sagacity has been justified by the results on those tracts which
have been reclaimed.

These Tule lands--the word is pronounced as though spelled "toola"--are
simply deposits of muck, a mixture of the wash or sediment brought down
by the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers with the decayed vegetable matter
resulting from an immense growth of various grasses, and of the reed
called the "tule," which often grows ten feet high in a season, and decays
every year. The Tule lands are in part the low lands along the greater
rivers, but in part they are islands, lying in the delta of the Sacramento
and San Joaquin rivers, and separated from each other by deep, narrow
"sloughs," or "slews" as they are called--branches of these rivers, in
fact. Before reclamation they are overflowed commonly twice a year--in the
winter, when the rains cause the rivers to rise; and again in June, when
the melting of the snows on the mountains brings another rise. You may
judge of the extent of this overflowed land by the following list of the
principal Tule Islands:


Robert's Island.......................67,000
Union Island..........................50,000
Grizzly Island........................15,000
Sherman Island........................14,000
Grand Island..........................17,000
Ryer Island...........................11,800
Staten Island..........................8,000
Bacon Island...........................7,000
Brannan Island.........................7,000
Bouldin Island.........................5,000
Mandeville Island......................5,000
Venice Island..........................4,000
Tyler Island...........................4,000
Andros Island..........................4,000
Twitchell Island.......................3,600
Sutter Island..........................3,000
Joyce Island...........................1,500
Rough and Ready Island.................1,500
Long Island............................1,000

    In all...........................217,400

These are the largest islands; but you must understand that on the
mainland, along the Sacramento and its affluents, there is a great deal of
similar land, probably at least twice as much more, perhaps three times.

The swamp and overflowed lands were given by Congress to the State; and
the State has, in its turn, virtually given them to private persons. It
has sold them for one dollar per acre, of which twenty per cent. was paid
down, or twenty cents per acre; and this money, less some small charges
for recording the transfer and for inspecting the reclamation, is
returned by the State to the purchaser if he, within three years after the
purchase, reclaims his land. That is to say, the State gives away the land
on condition that it shall be reclaimed and brought into cultivation.

During a number of years past enterprising individuals have undertaken
to reclaim small tracts on these islands by diking them, but with not
encouraging success, and it was not until a law was passed empowering the
majority of owners of overflowed lands in any place to form a reclamation
district, choose a Board of Reclamation, and levy a tax upon all the land
in the district, for building and maintaining the dikes or levees that
these lands really came into use.

[Illustration: A WATER JAM OF LOGS.]

Now, this work of draining is going on so fast that this year nearly six
hundred miles of levee will be completed among the islands alone, not
to speak of reclamation districts on the main-land. There seems to be
a general determination to do the work thoroughly, the high floods of
1871-72 having shown the farmers and land-owners that they must build high
and strong levees, or else lose all, or at least much, of their labor and
outlay. During the spring of 1872 I saw huge breaks in some of the levees,
which overflowed lands to the serious damage of farmers, for not only is
the crop of the year lost, but orchards and vineyards, which flourish on
the Tule lands, perished or were seriously injured by the waters.

Chinese labor is used almost entirely in making the levees. An engineer
having planned the work, estimates are made, and thereupon Chinese foremen
take contracts for pieces at stipulated rates, and themselves hire their
countrymen for the actual labor. This subdivision, to which the perfect
organization of Chinese labor readily lends itself, is very convenient.
The engineer or master in charge of the work deals only with the
Chinese foremen, pays them for the work done, and exacts of them the due
performance of the contract.

The levee stuff is taken from the inside; thus the ditch is inside of the
levee, and usually on the outside is a space of low marsh, which presently
fills with willow and cotton-wood. You may sail along the river or slough,
therefore, for miles, and see only occasional evidences of the embankment.

The soil is usually a tough turf, full of roots, which is very cheaply cut
out with an instrument called a "tule-knife," and thrown up on the levee,
where it seems to bind well, though one would not think it would. At
frequent intervals are self-acting tide-gates for drainage; these are made
of the redwood of the coast, which does not rot in the water. The rise and
fall of the tides is about six feet. The levees have been in some places
troubled with beaver, which, however, are now hunted for their fur, and
will not long be troublesome. There is no musk-rat--an animal which would
do serious damage here. The tule-rat lives on roots on the land, but is
not active or strong enough to be injurious.

The levee is usually from six to eight feet broad on top, with the inside
sloping; but I was told that experience had shown that the outside should
be perpendicular. It is not unusual for parts of a levee to sink down,
but I could hear of no case of capsizing. The Levee Board of a district
appoints levee-masters, whose duty it is to look after the condition
of the work, and on the islands I visited there were gangs of Chinamen
engaged in repairing and heightening the embankments.

You land at a wharf, and, standing on top of the levee, you see before you
usually the house and other farm buildings, set up on piles, for security
against a break and overflow; and beyond a great track of level land, two
or three or five feet below the level of the levee, and, if it has but
lately been reclaimed, covered with the remnants of tules and of grass

When the levee is completed, and the land has had opportunity to drain
a little, the first operation is to burn it over. This requires time and
some care, for it is possible to burn too deep; and in some parts the fire
burns deep holes if it is not checked. If the land is covered with dry
tules, the fire is set so easily that a single match will burn a thousand
acres, the strong trade-wind which blows up the river and across these
lands carrying the fire rapidly. If the dry tules have been washed off,
a Chinaman is sent to dig holes through the upper sod; after him follows
another, with a back-load of straw wisps, who sticks a wisp into each
hole, lights it with a match, and goes on. At this rate, I am told, it
cost on one island only one hundred dollars to burn fifteen hundred acres.

When this work is done you have an ash-heap, extremely disagreeable to
walk over, and not yet solid enough to bear horses or oxen. Accordingly,
the first crop is put on with sheep. First the tract is sowed, usually
with a coffee-mill sower or hand machine, and, I am told, at the rate of
about thirty pounds of wheat to the acre, though I believe it would be
better to sow more thickly. Then comes a band or flock of about five
hundred sheep. These are driven over the surface in a compact body, and at
no great rate of speed, and it is surprising how readily they learn what
is expected of them, and how thoroughly they tramp in the seed. Dogs are
used in this work to keep the sheep together, and they expect to "sheep
in," as they call it, about sixteen acres a day with five hundred animals,
giving these time besides to feed on the levee and on spare land.

Tule land thus prepared has actually yielded from forty to sixty bushels
of wheat per acre. It does not always do so, because, as I myself saw,
it is often badly and irregularly burned over, and probably otherwise
mismanaged. The crop is taken off with headers, as is usual in this State.

For the second year's crop the land is plowed. A two-share gang-plow is
used, with a seat for the plowman. It is drawn by four horses, who have to
be shod with broad wooden shoes, usually made of ash plank, nine by eleven
inches, fastened to the iron shoes of the horse by screws.

The soil does not appear to be sour, and no doubt the ashes from the
burning off do much to sweeten it where it needs that. But several years
are needed to reduce the ground to its best condition for tillage, and the
difference in this respect between newly-burned or second-crop lands and
such matured farms as that of Mr. Bigelow on Sherman Island--who has been
there eight or nine years--is very striking.

It seemed to me that the farmers and land-owners with whom I spoke knew
"for certain" but very little about the best ways to manage these lands,
and that the advice of a thorough scientific agriculturist, like Professor
Johnson of Yale, would be very valuable to them. Now, they know only that
the land when burned over will bear large crops of wheat; and, of course,
in all practical measures for economically putting in and taking off a
wheat crop the Californian needs no instructor.

The soil seemed to me, so far as they dig into it--say six feet deep--to
be, not peat, but a mass of undecayed or but partly decayed roots,
strongly adhering together, so that the upper part of a levee, taken of
course from the lowest part of the ditch, lay in firm sods or tussocks.
These, however, seem to decay pretty rapidly on exposure to the air.
The drainage is not usually deeper than four feet, and in places the
water-level was but three feet below the surface. The newly reclaimed land
being very light, suffers from the dry season, and is often irrigated,
which, as it lies below the river-level, can be quickly and cheaply done.

Sherman Island was one of the earliest to be reclaimed, and there I
visited the fine farm of Mr. Bigelow--a New Hampshire man, I believe, and
apparently a thorough farmer. He has lived on tule land ten years, and
his fields were consequently in the finest condition. Here I saw a
three-hundred-acre field of wheat, as fine as wheat could be. He thought
he should get about forty-five bushels per acre this year. He had got, he
told me, between sixty-five and seventy bushels per acre, and without any
further labor the next year brought him from the same fields fifty-two
bushels per acre as a "volunteer" or self-seeded crop.

Here I saw luxuriant red clover and blue grass, and he had also a field
of carrots, which do well on this alluvial bottom, it seems. But what
surprised me more was to find that apples, pears, peaches, plums, grapes,
apricots--all the fruits--do well on this soil. With us I think the pear
would not do well on peat; but here it withstood last year's flood, which
broke a levee and overflowed Mr. Bigelow's farm, and the trees do not
appear to have suffered. He had also wind-breaks of osier willow, which of
course grows rapidly, and had been a source of profit to him in, yielding
cuttings for sale.

Timothy does not do well on tule land, as its roots do not push down deep
enough, and the surface of such light soils always dries up rapidly. Mr.
Bigelow told me that he once sowed alfalfa in February with wheat, and
took off forty-five bushels of wheat per acre, and a ton and a half of
alfalfa later; and pastured (in a thirty-acre field) twenty-five head of
stock till Christmas on the same land, after the hay was cut.

They have one great advantage on the tule lands--they can put in their
crops at any time from November to the last of June.

It was very curious to sit on the veranda at the farm-house, after dinner,
with a high levee immediately in front of us almost hiding the Sacramento
River, and with a broad canal--the inner ditch--full of fresh water,
running along the boundary as far as the eye could reach, the level of
the levee broken occasionally by tide-gates. The prospect would have been
monotonous had we not had at one side the lovely mountain range of which
Mount Diablo is the prominent peak. But the great expanse of clean fields,
level as a billiard-table, and in as fine tilth as though this was a model
farm, was a delight to the eye, too.

It may interest grape-growers in the East to be told that of what we call
"foreign grapes," the Muscat of Alexandria succeeds best in these moist,
peaty lands. It is the market grape here. Trees have not grown to a great
size on the tule lands, but bees are very fond of the wild-flowers which
abound in the unreclaimed marshes, and, having no hollow trees to build
in, they adapt themselves to circumstances by constructing their hives on
the outside or circumference of trees.

[Illustration: MOUNT HOOD, OREGON.]

Fencing costs here about three hundred and twenty dollars per mile. The
redwood posts are driven into the ground with mauls. Farm laborers receive
in the tules thirty dollars per month and board if they are white men, but
one dollar a day and feed themselves, where they are Chinese.

On Twitchell Island I found an experiment making in ramie and jute, Mr.
Finch, formerly of Haywards, having already planted twenty-six acres of
ramie, and intending to put seven acres into jute, for which he had the
plants all ready, raised in a canvas-covered inclosure. He raised ramie
successfully last year, and sold, he told me, from one-tenth of an acre,
two hundred and sixty three pounds of prepared ramie, for fifteen cents
per pound. He used, to dress it, a machine made in California, which
several persons have assured me works well and cheaply, a fact which ramie
growers in Louisiana may like to know; for the chief obstacle to ramie
culture in this country has been, so far, the lack of a cheap and
rapidly-working machine for its preparation. It struck me that Mr. Finch's
experiment with ramie and jute would promise better were it not made on
new land from which I believe only one crop had been taken.

When these tule lands have been diked and drained, they are sold for from
twenty to twenty-five dollars per acre. Considering the crops they bear,
and their nearness to market--ships could load at almost any of the
islands--I suppose the price is not high; but a farmer ought to be sure
that the levees are high enough, and properly made. To levee them costs
variously, from three to twelve dollars per acre.

The tule lands which lie on the main-land, and which are equally rich with
the islands, are usually ditched and diked for less than six dollars per
acre; and this sum is regarded, I believe, by the State Commissioners
as the maximum which the owners are allowed to borrow on reclamation
land-bonds for the purpose of levee building.

I spoke awhile back of the existence of beavers in the tule country. Elk
and grizzly bears used also to abound here, and I am told that on the
unreclaimed lands elk are still found, though the grizzlies have gone to
the mountains. One of the curiosities hereabouts is the ark, or floating
house, used by the hunters, which you see anchored or moored in the
sloughs: in these they live, using a small boat when they go ashore to
hunt, and floating from place to place with the tide. On one of these arks
I saw a magnificent pair of elk horns from an animal recently shot.




In the last year I have received a good many letters from persons desirous
to try sheep-farming in California, and this has led me to look a little
closely into this business as it is conducted in the northern parts of

There is no doubt that the climate of California gives some exceptional
advantages to the sheep-grazer. He need not, in most parts of the State,
make any provision against winter. He has no need for barns or expensive
sheds, or for a store of hay or roots. His sheep live out-of-doors all
the year round, and it results that those who have been so fortunate as
to secure cheaply extensive ranges have made a great deal of money, even
though they conducted the business very carelessly.

It ought to be understood, however, by persons who think of beginning with
sheep here, that the business has changed considerably in character within
two or three years. Land, in the first place, has very greatly risen in
price; large ranges are no longer easily or cheaply obtained, and in the
coast counties of Southern California particularly large tracts are now
too high-priced, considering the quality of the land and its ability to
carry sheep, for prudent men to buy.

Moreover, Southern California has some serious disadvantages for
sheep-grazing which the northern part of the State--the Sacramento Valley
and the adjoining coast-range and Sierra foot-hills--are without, and
which begin to tell strongly, now that the wool of this State begins to
go upon its merits, and is no longer bought simply as "California wool,"
regardless of its quality. Southern California has a troublesome burr,
which is not found north of Sacramento, except on the lower lands. In
Southern California it is often difficult to tide the sheep over the fall
months in good order, whereas in the northern part of the State they
have a greater variety of land, and do this more easily. The average of
southern wool brings less by five or six cents per pound than that of the
Sacramento Valley; and this is due in part to the soil and climate, and in
part to the fact that sheep are more carefully kept in the northern part
of the State.

Many of the sheep farmers in the Sacramento Valley have entirely done away
with the mischievous practice of corraling their sheep--confining them
at night, I mean, in narrow, crowded quarters--a practice which makes and
keeps the sheep scabby. They very generally fence their lands, and thus
are able to save their pasture and to manage it much more advantageously.
They seem to me more careful about overstocking than sheep farmers
generally are in the southern part of the State, though it should be
understood that such men as Colonel Hollester, Colonel Diblee, Dr. Flint,
and a few others in the South, who, like these, have exceptionally fine
ranges, keep always the best sheep in the best manner. But smaller tracks,
sown to alfalfa, are found to pay in the valleys where the land can be

In Australia and New Zealand sheep inspectors are appointed, who have
the duty to examine flocks and force the isolation of scabby sheep; and
a careless flock-master who should be discovered driving scabby sheep
through the country would be heavily fined; here the law says nothing
on this head, but I have found this spring several sheep owners in the
Sacramento Valley who assured me that they had eradicated scab so entirely
from their flocks that they dealt also by isolation with such few single
specimens as they found to have this disease.

Moreover, I find that the best sheep farmers aim to keep, not the largest
flocks, but the best sheep. There is no doubt that the sheep deteriorates
in this State unless it is carefully and constantly bred up. "We must
bring in the finest bucks from Australia, or the East, or our own State,"
said one very successful sheep farmer to me; "and we must do this all the
time, else our flocks will go back." "It is more profitable to keep fewer
sheep of the best kind than more not quite so good. It is more profitable
to keep a few sheep always in good condition than many with a period of
semi-starvation for them in the fall," said another; and added, "I would
rather, if I were to begin over again, spend my money on a breed worth six
dollars a head, than one worth two or three dollars, and I would rather
not keep sheep at all than not fence." He had his land--about twenty-five
thousand acres--fenced off in lots of from four to six thousand acres, and
into one of these he turned from six to eight thousand sheep, leaving them
to graze as they pleased. He had noticed, he told me, that whereas the
sheep under the usual corral system feed the greater part of the day, no
matter how hot the sun, his sheep in these large pastures were lying down
from nine in the morning to four or five in the afternoon; and he often
found them feeding far into the night, and rising again to graze long
before daylight. They were at liberty to follow their own pleasure, having
water always at hand. An abundant supply of water he thought of great

[Illustration: INDIAN SWEAT-HOUSE.]

Of course, where the sheep are turned out into fenced land no shepherds
are required, which makes an important saving. One man, with a horse,
visits the different flocks, and can look after ten or fifteen thousand

The farmer whom I have quoted does not dip his sheep to prevent or cure
scab, but mops the sore place, when he discovers a scabby sheep, with a
sponge dipped into the scab-mixture.

He gets, he told me, from his flock of ten thousand merinoes, an average
of seven pounds per head of wool, and he does not shear any except the
lambs, in the fall. It is a common but bad practice here to shear all
sheep twice a year; and where, as is too often the case, a flock is very
scabby, no doubt this is necessary.

He had long sheds as shelter for his ewes about lambing-time, so as to
protect them against fierce winds and cold rain storms; and he saved every
year about two hundred tons of hay, cut from the wild pastures, to feed
in case the rain should hold off uncommonly late. His aim was to keep the
sheep always in good condition, so that there should never be any weak
place in the wool. His sheds cost him about one dollar per running foot.
The sheep found their own way to them.

I find it is the habit of the forehanded sheep-grazers in the Sacramento
Valley to own a range in the foot-hills and another on the bottom-lands.
During the summer the sheep are kept in the bottoms, which are then dry
and full of rich grasses; in the fall and winter they are taken to the
uplands, and there they lamb, and are shorn. Where the range lies too far
away from any river, they drive the sheep in May into the mountains, where
they have green grass all summer; and about Red Bluff I saw a curious
sight--cattle and horses wandering, singly or in small groups, of their
own motion, to the mountains, and actually crossing the Sacramento without
driving; and I was told that in the fall they would return, each to its
master's rancho. I am satisfied that, except, perhaps, for the region
north of Redding, where the winters are cold and the summers have rain and
green grass, and where long-wooled sheep will do well, the merino is the
sheep for this State; and "the finer the better," say the best sheep men.
Near Red Bluff I saw some fine Cotswolds, and in the coast valleys north
of San Francisco these and Leicesters, I am told, do well.

A great deal of the land which is now used for sheep will, in the next
five, or at most ten years, be plowed and cropped. There is a tendency to
tax all land at its real value; and, except with good management, it will
not pay to keep sheep on land fit for grain and taxed as grain land, which
a great deal of the grazing land is. As the State becomes more populous,
the flocks will become smaller, and the wool will improve in quality at
the same time.

I have seen a good deal of alfalfa in the Sacramento Valley, but I have
seen also that the sheep men do not trust to it entirely. They believe
that it will be better for sheep as hay than as green food; and this
lucerne grows so rankly, and has, unless it is frequently cut, so much
woody stalk, that I believe this also. It makes extremely nice hay.

Every man who comes to California to farm ought to keep some sheep; and he
can keep them more easily and cheaply here than anywhere in the East.

For persons who want to begin sheep-raising on a large scale and with
capital the opportunities are not so good here now; but there are yet fine
chances in Nevada, in the valley of the Humboldt, where already thousands
of head of cattle, and at least one hundred thousand sheep, are now fed by
persons who do not own the land at all. I am told extensive tracts could
be bought there at really low prices, and with such credit on much of it
as would enable a man with capital enough to stock his tract to pay for
the land out of the proceeds of the sheep. The white sage in the Humboldt
Valley is very nutritious, and there is also in the subsidiary valleys
bunch-grass and other nutritious food for stock. Not a few young men have
gone into this Humboldt country with a few hundreds of sheep, and are now
wealthy. The winters are somewhat longer than in California, but the sheep
find feed all the year round; and they are shorn near the line of the
railroad, so that there is no costly transportation of the wool. Mutton
sheep, too, are driven to the railroad to be sent to market, and for
stock, therefore, this otherwise out-of-the-way region is very convenient.

Riding through the foot-hills near Rocklin--where I had been visiting
a well-kept sheep-farm--I saw a curious and unexpected sight. There are
still a few wretched Digger Indians in this part of California; and what I
saw was a party of these engaged in catching grasshoppers, which they boil
and eat. They dig a number of funnel-shaped holes, wide at the top, and
eighteen inches deep, on a cleared space, and then, with rags and brush,
drive the grasshoppers toward these holes, forming for that purpose a
wide circle. It is slow work, but they seem to delight in it; and their
excitement was great as they neared the circle of holes and the insects
began to hop and fall into them. At last there was a close and rapid
rally, and half a dozen bushels of grasshoppers were driven into the
holes; whereupon hats, aprons, bags, and rags were stuffed in to prevent
the multitudes from dispersing; and then began the work of picking them
out by handfuls, crushing them roughly in the hand to keep them quiet,
and crowding them into the bags in which they were to be carried to their

"Sweet--all same pudding," cried an old woman to me, as I stood looking
on. It is not a good year for grasshoppers this year; nothing like the
year of which an inhabitant of Roseville spoke to me later in the day,
when he said, "they ate up every bit of his garden-truck, and then sat on
the fence and asked him for a chew of tobacco."

The sheep ranges of the northern interior counties are less broken up than
in the coast counties farther south; and it is better and more profitable,
in my judgment, to pay five dollars per acre for grazing lands in the
Sacramento Valley than two dollars and a half for grazing lands farther
south and among the mountains. The grazier in the northern counties has
two advantages over his southern competitor: first, in the ability to buy
low-lying lands on the river, where he can graze from three to six or even
ten sheep to the acre during the summer months, and where he may plant
large tracts in alfalfa; and, secondly, in a safe refuge against drought
in the mountain meadows of the Sierras, and in the little valleys and
fertile hill-slopes of the Coast Range, where there is much unsurveyed
Government land, to which hundreds of thousands of sheep and cattle are
annually driven by the graziers of the plain, who thus save their own
pastures, and are able to carry a much larger number of sheep than they
otherwise would.

Moreover, nearness to the railroad is an important advantage for the
sheep-farmer; and I found that the most enterprising and intelligent sheep
men in the northern counties send their wool direct by railroad to the
Eastern States, instead of shipping it to San Francisco to be sold.

Finally, much of the land now obtainable for grazing in the Sacramento
Valley, at prices in some cases not too dear for grazing purposes, is of
a quality which will make it valuable agricultural land as soon as the
valley begins to fill up; and thus, aside from the profit from the sheep,
the owner may safely reckon upon a large increase in the value of his
land. This can not be said of much of the grazing land of the southern
coast counties, which is mountainous and broken, and fit only for grazing.

Of course I speak here of the average lands only. There are large tracts
or ranchos in the southern coast counties, such as the Lampoe rancho
of Hollester & Diblee, and lands in the Salinas Valley, which are
exceptionally fine, and to which what I have said of the coast panchos
generally does not apply.




As I crossed from Oakland to San Francisco on a Sunday afternoon last
July, there were on the ferry-boat a number of Chinese. They were decently
clad, quiet, clean, sat apart in their places in the lower part of the
boat conversing together, and finally walked off the boat when she came to
land as orderly as though they had been Massachusetts Christians.

There were also on the boat a number of half-grown and full-grown white
boys, some of whom had been fishing, and carried their long rods with
them. These were slouchy, dirty, loud-voiced, rude; and, as they passed
off the boat, I noticed that with their long rods they knocked the hats of
the Chinese off their heads, or punched them in the back, every effort of
this kind being rewarded with boisterous laughter from their companions.
Nor did they confine their annoyance entirely to the Chinese, for they
jostled and pushed their way out through the crowd of men and women very
much as a gang of pickpockets on a Third Avenue car in New York conducts
itself when its members mean to steal a watch or two.

These rowdies were "Hoodlums;" and it is the Hoodlums chiefly who clamor
about the Chinese, and who are "ruined by Chinese cheap labor." The
anti-Chinese agitation in San Francisco has led me to look a little
closely into this matter, and I declare my belief that there are not a
hundred decent men who work for a living in that city engaged in this
crusade against the Chinese. If you could to-day assemble there all who
join in this persecution, and if then you took from this assemblage all
the Hoodlums, all the bar-room loafers, and all the political demagogues,
I don't believe you would have a hundred men left on the ground. That is
to say, the people who actually earn the bread they eat do not persecute
the Chinese.

If an Eastern reader suggests that it argues a lack of public spirit
in the decent part of the community to allow the roughs to rule in this
matter, I take leave to remind him of the time, not very long ago, when
the same combination of Hoodlum and demagogue mobbed negroes in New York,
and threatened vengeance if colored people were allowed to ride in the
street-cars. Here, as there then, there are unfortunately newspapers
which ignorantly pander to this vile class, and help to swell the cry of
persecution. And here, as in New York a few years ago, it results that
the proscribed race is hardly dealt with, not only by the roughs, but
sometimes in the courts, and gets scant and hard justice dealt out to it.
The courageous and upright action of Mayor Alvord in vetoing the inhuman
and silly acts of the city supervisors, which, by-the-way, has made him
one of the most popular men in California, for the moment shamed the
demagogues and silenced the rowdies; but there are means of annoying the
Chinese within the law, which are still used. For instance, there is an
ordinance declaring a fine for overcrowding tenement-houses, and requiring
that in every room there shall be five hundred cubic feet of air for each
occupant, and for violating this a fine of ten dollars is imposed. This
ordinance is enforced only against the Chinese--so I am assured on the
best authority, and they only are fined. But justice would seem to demand
not only that the law should be enforced against all alike, but that the
owner of the property should be made liable for its misuse as well as the
unfortunate and ignorant occupants.

The Chinese quarter in San Francisco consists, for the most part, of a lot
of decayed rookeries which would put our own Five Points to the blush. The
Chinese live here very much as the Five Points' population lives in New
York. And here, as there, respectable people--or people at any rate who
would think themselves insulted if you called their respectability in
question--own these filthy and decayed tenements; live in comfort on the
rent paid them by the Chinese; perhaps go to church on Sunday, and, no
doubt, thank God that they are not as other people. It is very good
to fine a poor devil of a Chinaman because he lives in an overcrowded
tenement; but what a stir there would be if some enterprising San
Francisco journal should give a description of these holes, and the
different uses they are put to, and add the names and residences of the

California has, according to Cronise--a good authority--40,000,000 acres
of arable land. It has, according to the last census, 560,247 people, of
whom 149,473 live in San Francisco, and yet nowhere in the United States
have I heard so much complaint of "nothing to do" as in San Francisco.
One of the leading cries of the demagogues here is that the Chinese are
crowding white men out of employment. But one of the complaints most
frequently heard from men who need to get work done is that they can
get nobody to do it. A hundred times and more, in my travels through the
State, I have found Chinese serving not only as laborers, but holding
positions where great skill and faithfulness were required; and almost
every time the employer has said to me, "I would rather, of course, employ
a white man, but I can not get one whom I can trust, and who will stick
to his work." In some cases this was not said, but the employer spoke
straight out that he had tried white men, and preferred the Chinese as
more faithful and painstaking, more accurate, and less eye-servants.

A gentleman told me that he had once advertised in the San Francisco
papers for one hundred laborers; his office was besieged for three days.
Three hundred and fifty offered themselves, all presumably ruined by
Chinese cheap labor; but all but a dozen refused to accept work when they
heard that they were required to go "out of the city."

The charge that the Chinese underbid the whites in the labor market is
bosh. When they first come over, and are ignorant of our language, habits,
customs, and manner of work, they no doubt work cheaply; but they know
very accurately the current rate of wages and the condition of the labor
market, and they manage to get as much as any body, or, if they take less
in some cases, it is because they can not do a full day's work. It is a
fact, however, that they do a great deal of work which white men will
not do out here; they do not stand idle, but take the first job that is
offered them. And the result is that they are used all over the State,
more and more, because they chiefly, of the laboring population, will work
steadily and keep their engagements.

Moreover, the admirable organization of the Chinese labor is an
irresistible convenience to the farmer, vineyardist, and other employer.
"How do you arrange to get your Chinese?" I asked a man in the country who
was employing more than a hundred in several gangs. He replied: "I have
only to go or send to a Chinese employment office in San Francisco, and
say that I need so many men for such work and at such pay. Directly up
come the men, with a foreman of their own, with whom alone I have to deal.
I tell only him what I want done; I settle with him alone; I complain
to him, and hold him alone responsible. He understands English; and this
system simplifies things amazingly. If I employed white men I should
have to instruct, reprove, watch, and pay each one separately; and of a
hundred, a quarter, at least, would be dropping out day after day for
one cause or another. Moreover, with my Chinese comes up a cook for every
twenty men, whom I pay, and provisions of their own which they buy. Thus I
have nobody to feed and care for. They do it themselves."

This is the reply I have received in half a dozen instances where I made
inquiry of men who employed from twenty-five to two hundred Chinese. Any
one can see that, with such an organization of labor, many things can be
easily done which under our different and looser system a man would not
rashly undertake. So far as I have been able to learn, such a thing as
a gang of Chinese leaving a piece of work they had engaged to do, unless
they were cheated or ill-treated, is unknown. Then they don't drink
whisky. With all this, any one can see that they need not work cheaply.
To a man who wants to get a piece of work done their systematic ways are
worth a good deal of money. In point of fact, they are quick enough to
demand higher wages.


Of the population of Califoraia when the census of 1870 was taken, 49,310
were Chinese, 54,421 were Irish, 29,701 were Germans, and 339,199 were
born in the United States. In an official return from the California State
prison, the number of convicts in 1871, the last year reported, is given
at 880; of whom 477 were native born, 118 were Chinese, 86 were Irish,
29 were German. This gives, of convicts, one in every 635 of the whole
population of the State; one in 711 of the native born; one in 417 of the
Chinese; one in 632 of the Irish born; and one in 1024 of the Germans.
That is to say, of the different nationalities the Germans contribute the
fewest convicts, the native born next, the Irish next, and the Chinese the
greatest number proportionately.

But pray bear in mind the important fact that the Chinese here are almost
entirely grown men; they have no families here, and but a small number of
women, almost all of whom are, moreover, prostitutes.

If, then, you would compare these figures rightly you would have to leave
out of the count the women and children of all the other nationalities;
it would, perhaps, then appear that the Chinese furnish a much smaller
proportion of criminals than the above figures show; and this in spite of
the well-known fact that Dame Justice commonly turns a very cold shoulder
toward a Chinaman. I wonder that the comparison shows so favorably for

It is said that they send money out of the country. I wonder who sends the
most, the Chinaman or the white foreigner? If one could get at the sums
remitted to England, Ireland, and Germany, and those sent to China, I
don't know which would be the greater.

But a Chinese, to whom I mentioned this charge, made me an excellent
answer. He said: "Suppose you work for me; suppose I pay you; what
business I what you do with money? If you work good for me, that all
I care. No business my what you do your pay." Surely he was right; the
Chinaman may send some part of his wages out of the country, though not
much, for he must eat, must be clothed and lodged, must pay railroad and
stage fares, must smoke opium, and usually gamble a little. When all this
is done, the surplus of a Chinaman's wages is not great. But suppose he
sent off all his pay; he does not and can not send off the work he has
done for it, the ditches he has dug, the levees he has made, the meals he
has cooked, and the clothes he has washed and ironed, the harvest he has
helped to sow and gather, and the vegetables he has raised; the cigars,
and shoes, blankets, gloves, slippers, and other things he has made. These
remain to enrich the country, to make abundance where, but for his help,
there would be scarcity, or importation from other States or countries.

But lately it is asserted that the Chinese have brought or will bring
the leprosy hither. This is a genuine cry of anguish and terror from the
Hoodlums; for, bear in mind that, according to the best medical opinion
in the Sandwich Islands, where this disease is most frequent and has been
most thoroughly studied, it is communicated only by cohabitation or the
most intimate association. If you ask a policeman to pilot you through
the Chinese quarter of San Francisco between eight and eleven o'clock any
night, you will see the creatures who make this outcry. They are Hoodlums,
gangs of whom per ambulate the worst alleys, and pass in and out of the
vilest kennels.

I was curious to know something about the "Chinese Companies" of which
one frequently hears here, and which exercise important powers over their
countrymen all over the State. What follows concerning these organizations
I derived from conversation with several Chinese who speak English, and
with a missionary who labors among them.

There are six of these companies, calling themselves "Yong Wong,"
"Howk Wah," "Sam Yup," "Yen Wah," "Kong Chow," and "Yong Woh." They
are benevolent societies; each looks after the people who come from the
province or district for whose behalf it is formed.

When a ship comes into port with Chinese, the agents of the companies
board it, and each takes the names of those who belong to his province.
These then come into the charge of their proper company. That lodges, and,
if necessary, feeds them; as quickly as possible secures them employment;
and, if they are to go to a distant point, lends them the needed
passage-money. The company also cares for the sick, if they are friendless
and without means; and it sends home the bones of those who die here.


Moreover, it settles all disputes between Chinese, levies fines upon
offenders; and when a Chinaman wishes to return home, his company examines
his accounts, and obliges him to pay his just debts here before leaving.

The means to do all this are obtained by the voluntary contributions of
the members, who are all who land at San Francisco from the province which
a company represents.

In the Canton company, "Sam Yup," I was told that the members pay seven
dollars each, which sum is paid at any time, but always before they go

"Suppose a man does not pay?" I asked a Chinese who speaks English very
well. He replied, "Then the company loses it; but all who can, pay. Very
seldom any one refuses."

"Suppose," said I, "a Chinaman refuses to respect the company's decision,
in case of a quarrel?" He replied, "They never refuse. It is their own
company. They are all members."

Naturally there are sometimes losses and a deficit in the treasury. This
is made up by levying an additional contribution.

"Do the companies advance money to bring over Chinese?" "No," was the
reply, "the company has no money; it is not a business association,
but only for mutual aid among the Chinese here." Nor does it act as
an employment office, for this is a separate and very well organized
business. It sends home the bones of dead men, and this costs fifteen
dollars; and wherever the deceased leaves property or money, or the
relatives are able to pay, the company exacts this sum.

It is evident that the Chinese in California keep up a very active
correspondence with San Francisco as well as with China. They "keep
the run" of their people very carefully; and the poorer class, who have
probably gone into debt at home for money to get over here, seem to pay
their debts with great honesty out of their earnings. It is clear to me
that the poorer Chinese command far greater credit among their countrymen
than our laboring class usually receives, and this speaks well for their
general honesty.

I do not mean to hold up the Chinaman as an entirely admirable creature.
He has many excellent traits, and we might learn several profitable
lessons from him in the art of organizing labor, and in other matters. But
he has grave vices; he does commonly, and without shame, many things which
we hold to be wrong and disreputable; and, altogether, it might have been
well could we have kept him out.

The extent to which they carry organization and administration is
something quite curious. For instance, there are not only organized bands
of laborers, submitting themselves to the control and management of a
foreman; benevolent societies, administering charity and, to a large
extent, justice; employment societies, which make advances to gangs and
individuals all over the State; but there is in San Francisco a society or
organization for the importation of prostitutes from China. The existence
of this organization was not suspected until during last summer some of
its victims appealed to a city missionary to save them from a life of
vice. Thereupon suit was brought by Chinese in the courts for money which
they claimed these women owed; and, on an examination, I was told, no
attempt was made to conceal the fact that a regularly formed commercial
organization was engaged in either buying or kidnapping young women in
China, bringing them to San Francisco, there furnishing them clothing and
habitations, and receiving from them a share of the money they gained by

But the Chinaman is here; treaty laws made by our Government with his give
him the right to come here, and to live here securely. And this is to be
said, that if we could to-day expel the Chinese from California, more than
half the capital now invested there would be idle or leave the State, many
of the most important industries would entirely stop, and the prosperity
of California would receive a blow from which it would not recover for
twenty years. They are, as a class, peaceable, patient, ingenious, and
industrious. That they deprive any white man of work is absurd, in a State
which has scarcely half a million of people, and which can support ten
millions, and needs at least three millions to develop fairly its abundant
natural wealth; and no matter what he is, or what the effect of his
presence might be, it is shameful that he should be meanly maltreated and
persecuted among a people who boast themselves Christian and claim to be

[Illustration: SAW-MILL.]



Some of the most picturesque country in California lies on or near
the coast north of San Francisco. The coast counties, Marin, Sonoma,
Mendocino, Humboldt, Klamath, and Del Norte, are the least visited by
strangers, and yet with Napa, Lake, and Trinity, they make up a region
which contains a very great deal of wild and fine scenery, and which
abounds with game, and shows to the traveler many varieties of life and
several of the peculiar industries of California.

Those who have passed through the lovely Napa Valley, by way of Calistoga,
to the Geysers, or who have visited the same place by way of Healdsburg
and the pretty Russian River Valley, have no more than a faint idea of
what a tourist may see and enjoy who will devote two weeks to a journey
along the sea-coast of Marin and Mendocino counties, returning by way of
Clear Lake--a fine sheet of water, whose borders contain some remarkable
volcanic features.

The northern coast counties are made up largely of mountains, but
imbosomed in these lie many charming little, and several quite spacious,
valleys, in which you are surprised to find a multitude of farmers living,
isolated from the world, that life of careless and easy prosperity which
is the lot of farmers in the fat valleys of California.

In such a journey the traveler will see the famous redwood forests of this
State, whose trees are unequaled in size except by the gigantic sequoias;
he will see those dairy-farms of Marin County whose butter supplies not
only the Western coast, but is sent East, and competes in the markets of
New York and Boston with the product of Eastern dairies, while, sealed
hermetically in glass jars, it is transported to the most distant military
posts, and used on long sea-voyages, keeping sweet in any climate for at
least a year; he will see, in Mendocino County, one of the most remarkable
coasts in the world, eaten by the ocean into the most singular and
fantastic shapes; and on this coast saw-mills and logging camps, where
the immense redwood forests are reduced to useful lumber with a prodigious
waste of wood.

He will see, besides the larger Napa, Petaluma, Bereyessa, and Russian
River valleys, which are already connected by railroad with San Francisco,
a number of quiet, sunny little vales, some of them undiscoverable on any
but the most recent maps, nestled among the mountains, unconnected as
yet with the world either by railroad or telegraph, but fertile, rich in
cattle, sheep, and grain, where live a people peculiarly Californian in
their habits, language, and customs, great horsemen, famous rifle-shots,
keen fishermen, for the mountains abound in deer and bear, and the streams
are alive with trout.

He may see an Indian reservation--one of the most curious examples of
mismanaged philanthropy which our Government can show. And finally, the
traveler will come to, and, if he is wise, spend some days on, Clear
Lake--a strikingly lovely piece of water, which would be famous if it were
not American.

For such a journey one needs a heavy pair of colored blankets and an
overcoat rolled up together, and a leather bag or valise to contain the
necessary change of clothing. A couple of rough crash towels and a piece
of soap also should be put into the bag; for you may want to camp out, and
you may not always find any but the public towel at the inn where you dine
or sleep. Traveling in spring, summer, or fall, you need no umbrella or
other protection against rain, and may confidently reckon on uninterrupted
fine weather.

The coast is always cool. The interior valleys are warm, and during the
summer quite hot, and yet the dry heat does not exhaust or distress one,
and cool nights refresh you. In the valleys and on much-traveled roads
there is a good deal of dust, but it is, as they say, "clean dirt," and
there is water enough in the country to wash it off. You need not ride on
horseback unless you penetrate into Humboldt County, which has as yet
but few miles of wagon-road. In Mendocino, Lake, and Marin, the roads
are excellent, and either a public stage, or, what is pleasanter and but
little dearer, a private team, with a driver familiar with the country,
is always obtainable. In such a journey one element of pleasure is its
somewhat hap-hazard nature. You do not travel over beaten ground, and on
routes laid out for you; you do not know beforehand what you are to see,
nor even how you are to see it; you may sleep in a house to-day, in the
woods to-morrow, and in a sail-boat the day after; you dine one day in
a logging camp, and another in a farm-house. With the barometer at "set
fair," and in a country where every body is civil and obliging, and where
all you see is novel to an Eastern person, the sense of adventure adds a
keen zest to a journey which is in itself not only amusing and healthful,
but instructive.

[Illustration: WOOD-CHOPPER AT WORK.]

Marin County, which lies across the bay from San Francisco, and of which
the pretty village of San Rafael is the county town, contains the most
productive dairy-farms in the State. When one has long read of California
as a dry State, he wonders to find that it produces butter at all; and
still more to discover that the dairy business is extensive and profitable
enough--with butter at thirty-five cents a pound at the dairy--to warrant
the employment of several millions of capital, and to enable the dairy-men
to send their product to New York and Boston for sale.

For the coast journey the best route, because it shows you much fine
scenery on your way, is by way of Soucelito, which is reached by a ferry
from San Francisco. From Soucelito either a stage or a private conveyance
carries you to Olema, whence you should visit Point Reyes, one of the most
rugged capes on the coast, where a light-house and fog-signal are placed
to warn and guide mariners. It is a wild spot, often enveloped in fogs,
and where it blows at least half a gale of wind three hundred days in
the year.

Returning from Point Reyes to Olema, your road bears you past Tomales Bay,
and back to the coast of Mendocino County; and by the time you reach the
mouth of Russian River you are in the saw-mill country. Here the road runs
for the most part close to the coast, and gives you a long succession
of wild and strange views. You pass Point Arena, where is another
light-house; and finally land at Mendocino City.

Before the stage sets you down at Mendocino, or "Big River," you will have
noticed that the coast-line is broken at frequent intervals by the mouths
of small streams, and at the available points at the mouths of these
streams saw-mills are placed. This continues up the coast, wherever a
river-mouth offers the slightest shelter to vessels loading; for the
redwood forests line the coast up to and beyond Humboldt Bay.

When you leave the coast for the interior, you ride through mile after
mile of redwood forest. Unlike the firs of Oregon and Puget Sound, this
tree does not occupy the whole land. It rears its tall head from a jungle
of laurel, madrone, oak, and other trees; and I doubt if so many as fifty
large redwoods often stand upon a single acre. I was told that an average
tree would turn out about fifteen thousand feet of lumber, and thus even
thirty such trees to the acre would yield nearly half a million feet.

The topography of California, like its climate, has decided features.
As there are but two seasons, so there are apt to be sharply-drawn
differences in natural features, and you descend from what appears to you
an interminable mass of mountains suddenly into a plain, and pass from
deep forests shading the mountain road at once into a prairie valley,
which nature made ready to the farmer's hands, taking care even to
beautify it for him with stately and umbrageous oaks. There are a number
of such valleys on the way which I took from the coast at Mendocino City
to the Nome Cult Indian Reservation, in Round Valley. The principal of
these, Little Lake, Potter, and Eden valleys, contain from five to twelve
thousand acres; but there are a number of smaller vales, little gems, big
enough for one or two farmers, fertile and easily cultivated.

A good many Missourians and other Southern people have settled in this
part of the State. The better class of these make good farmers; but the
person called "Pike" in this State has here bloomed out until, at times,
he becomes, as a Californian said to me about an earthquake, "a little

The Pike in Mendocino County regards himself as a laboring-man, and in
that capacity he has undertaken to drive out the Indians, just as a still
lower class in San Francisco has undertaken to drive out the laboring
Chinese. These Little Lake and Potter Valley Pikes were ruined by Indian
cheap labor; so they got up a mob and expelled the Indians, and the result
is that the work which these poor people formerly performed is now left

As for the Indians, they are gathered at the Round Valley Reservation to
the number of about twelve hundred, where they stand an excellent chance
to lose such habits of industry and thrift as they had learned while
supporting themselves. At least half the men on the reservation, the
superintendent told me, are competent farmers, and many of the women are
excellent and competent house-servants. No one disputes that while they
supported themselves by useful industry in the valleys where were their
homes they were peaceable and harmless, and that the whites stood in no
danger from them. Why, then, should the United States Government forcibly
make paupers of them? Why should this class of Indians be compelled to
live on reservations?

Under the best management which we have ever had in the Indian Bureau--let
us say under its present management--a reservation containing tame or
peaceable Indians is only a pauper asylum and prison combined, a nuisance
to the respectable farmers, whom it deprives of useful and necessary
laborers, an injury to the morals of the community in whose midst it is
placed, an injury to the Indian, whom it demoralizes, and a benefit only
to the members of the Indian ring.

Round Valley is occupied in part by the Nome Cult Reservation, and in part
by farmers and graziers. In the middle of the valley stands Covelo, one
of the roughest little villages I have seen in California, the
gathering-place for a rude population, which inhabits not only the valley,
but the mountains within fifty miles around, and which rides into Covelo
on mustang ponies whenever it gets out of whisky at home or wants a spree.

The bar-rooms of Covelo sell more strong drink in a day than any I have
ever seen elsewhere; and the sheep-herder, the vaquero, the hunter, and
the wandering rough, descending from their lonely mountain camps, make
up as rude a crowd as one could find even in Nevada. Being almost without
exception Americans, they are not quarrelsome in their cups. I was told,
indeed, by an old resident, that shooting was formerly common, but it
has gone out of fashion, mainly, perhaps, because most of the men are
excellent shots, and the amusement was dangerous. At any rate, I saw not a
single fight or disturbance, though I spent the Fourth of July at Covelo;
and it was, on the whole, a surprisingly well-conducted crowd, in spite
of a document which I picked up there, and whose directions were but too
faithfully observed by a large majority of the transient population. This
was called a "toddy time-table," and I transcribe it here from a neat
gilt-edged card for the warning and instruction of Eastern topers.

                TODDY TIME-TABLE.

 6 A.M. Eye-opener.        3 P.M. Cobbler.
 7  "   Appetizer.         4  "   Social Drink.
 8  "   Digester.          5  "   Invigorator.
 9  "   Big Reposer.       6  "   Solid Straight.
10  "   Refresher.         7  "   Chit-chat.
11  "   Stimulant.         8  "   Fancy Smile.
12  "   Ante-lunch.        9  "   Entire Acte _(sic)_.
 1 P.M. Settler.          10  "   Sparkler.
 2  "   A la Smythe.      11  "   Rouser.
                12 P.M. Night-cap.

My impression is that this time-table was not made for the latitude of
Covelo, for they began to drink much earlier than 6 A.M. at the bar, near
which I slept, and they left off later than midnight. It would be unjust
for me not to add that, for the amount of liquor consumed, it was the
soberest and the best-natured crowd I ever saw. I would like to write
"respectable" also, but it would be ridiculous to apply that term to
men whose every word almost is an oath, and whose language in many cases
corresponds too accurately with their clothes and persons.

From Round Valley there is a "good enough" horseback trail, as they call
it, over a steep mountain into the Sacramento Valley; but a pleasanter
journey, and one, besides, having more novelty, is by way of Potter
Valley to Lakeport, on Clear Lake. The road is excellent; the scenery is
peculiarly Californian. Potter Valley is one of the richest and also
one of the prettiest of the minor valleys of this State, and your way
to Lakeport carries you along the shores of two pleasant mountain
lakelets--the Blue Lakes, which are probably ancient craters.

Two days' easy driving, stopping overnight in Potter Valley, brings you
to Lakeport, the capital of Lake County, and the only town I have seen in
California where dogs in the square worry strangers as they are entering
the place. As the only hotel in the town occupies one corner of this
square, and as in Californian fashion the loungers usually sit in the
evening on the sidewalk before the hotel, the combined attack of these
dogs occurs in their view, and perhaps affords them a pleasing and
beneficial excitement. The placid and impartial manner with which the
landlord himself regards the contest between the stranger and the
town dogs will lead you to doubt whether his house is not too full to
accommodate another guest, and whether he is not benevolently letting
the dogs spare him the pain of refusing you a night's lodging; but it is
gratifying to be assured, when you at last reach the door, that the dogs
"scarcely ever bite any body."

Clear Lake is a large and picturesque sheet of water, twenty-five miles
long by about seven wide, surrounded by mountains, which in many places
rise from the water's edge. At Lakeport you can hire a boat at a very
reasonable price, and I advise the traveler to take his blankets on board,
and make this boat his home for two or three days. He will get food
at different farm-houses on the shore; and as there are substantial,
good-sized sail-boats, he can sleep on board very enjoyably. Aside from
its fine scenery, and one or two good specimens of small Californian
farms, the valley is remarkable for two borax lakes and a considerable
deposit of sulphur, all of which lie close to the shore.

At one of the farm-houses, whose owner, a Pennsylvanian, has made himself
a most beautiful place in a little valley hidden by the mountains which
butt on the lake, I saw the culture of silk going on in that way in
which only, as I believe, it can be made successful in California. He
had planted about twenty-five hundred mulberry-trees, built himself an
inexpensive but quite sufficient little cocoonery, bought an ounce and
a half of eggs for fifteen dollars, and when I visited him had already
a considerable quantity of cocoons, and had several thousand worms then

It was his first attempt; he had never seen a cocoonery, but had read all
the books he could buy about the management of the silk-worm; and, as
his grain harvest was over, he found in the slight labor attending the
management of these worms a source of interest and delight which was alone
worth the cost of his experiment. But he is successful besides; and his
wife expressed great delight at the new employment her husband had found,
which, as she said, had kept him close at home for about two months.
She remarked that all wives ought to favor the silk culture for their
husbands; but the old man added that some husbands might recommend it to
their wives.

Certainly I had no idea how slight and pleasant is the labor attending
this industry up to the point of getting cocoons. If, however, you mean to
raise eggs, the work is less pleasant.

This farmer, Mr. Alter, had chosen his field of operations with
considerable shrewdness. He planted his mulberry-trees on a dry side-hill,
and found that it did not hurt his worms to feed to them, under this
condition, even leaves from the little shrubs growing in his nursery rows.
His cocoonery was sheltered from rude winds by a hill and a wood, and thus
the temperature was very equal. He had no stove in his house, the shelves
were quite rough, and the whole management might have been called careless
if it were not successful.

I believe that the country about Clear Lake and in the Napa and Sonoma
valleys will be found very favorable to the culture of the silk-worm;
but I believe also that this industry will not succeed except where it is
carried on by farmers and their families in a small way.

[Illustration: MOUNT HOOD, OREGON.]

Boat life on Clear Lake is as delightful an experience as a traveler or
lounger can get anywhere. The lake is placid; there is usually breeze
enough to sail about; and you need not fear storms or rainy weather in the
dry season. If it should fall calm, and you do not wish to be delayed, you
can always hire an Indian to row the boat, and there is sufficient to
see on the lake to pleasantly detain a tourist several days, besides fine
fishing and hunting in the season, and lovely views all the time.

Going to the Sulphur Banks on a calm morning, I hired an Indian from a
rancheria upon Mr. Alter's farm to row for us, and my Indian proved to be
a prize. His name was Napoleon, and he was a philosopher. Like his greater
namesake, he had had two wives. Of the first one he reported that "Jim
catchee him," by which I was to understand that he had tired of her,
and had sold her to "Jim;" and he had now taken number two, a moderately
pretty Digger girl, of whom he seemed to be uncommonly fond. As he rowed
he began to speak of his former life, when he had served a white farmer.

"Him die now," said Napoleon; adding, in a musing tone, "he very good man,
plenty money; give Injun money all time. Him very good white man, that
man; plenty money all a time."

Napoleon dwelt upon the wealth of his favorite white man so persistently
that presently it occurred to me to inquire a little further.

"Suppose a white man had no money," said I, "what sort of a man would you
think him?"

My philosopher's countenance took on a fine expression of contempt.
"Suppose white man no got money?" he asked. "Eh! suppose he no got
money--him dam fool!" And Napoleon glared upon us, his passengers, as
though he wondered if either of us would venture to contradict so plain a

The sulphur bank is a remarkable deposit of decomposed volcanic rock and
ashes, containing so large a quantity of sulphur that I am told that at
the refining-works, which lie on the bank of the lake, the mass yields
eighty per cent. of pure sulphur. The works were not in operation when I
was there.

Several large hot springs burst out from the bank, and gas and steam
escape with some violence from numerous fissures. The deposit looks very
much like a similar one on the edge of the Kilauea crater, on the island
of Hawaii, but is, I should think, richer in sulphur. Near the sulphur
bank, on the edge of the lake, is a hot borate spring, which is supposed
to yield at times three hundred gallons per minute, and which Professor
Whitney, the State Geologist, declares remarkable for the extraordinary
amount of ammoniacal salts its waters contain--more than any natural
spring water that has ever been analyzed.

There is abundant evidence of volcanic action in all the country about
Clear Lake. A dozen miles from Lakeport, not far from the shore of the
lake, the whole mountain side along which the stage-road runs is covered
for several miles with splinters and fragments of obsidian or volcanic
glass, so that it looks as though millions of bottles had been broken
there in some prodigious revelry; and where the road cuts into the side
of the mountain you see the osidian lying in huge masses and in boulders.
Joining this, and at one point interrupting it, is a tract of volcanic
ashes stratified, and the strata thrown up vertically in some places, as
though after the volcano had flung out the ashes there had come a terrific
upheaval of the earth.

The two borax lakes lie also near the shore of Clear Lake; the largest
one, which is not now worked, has an area of about three hundred acres.
Little Borax Lake covers only about thirty acres, and this is now worked.
The efflorescing matter is composed of carbonate of soda, chloride of
sodium, and biborate of soda. The object of the works is, of course, to
separate the borax, and this is accomplished by crystallizing the borax,
which, being the least soluble of the salts, is the first to crystallize.

The bottom of the lake was dry when I was there; it was covered all over
with a white crust, which workmen scrape up and carry to the works, where
it is treated very successfully. My nose was offended by the fetid stench
which came from the earth when it was first put in the vats with hot
water; and I was told by the foreman of the works that this arose from
the immense number of flies and other insects which fly upon the lake
and perish in it. Chinese are employed as laborers here, and give great
satisfaction; and about eight days are required to complete the operation
of extracting the borax in crystals.

Earth containing biborate of lime is brought to this place all the way
from Wadsworth, in the State of Nevada--a very great distance, with
several transhipments--to be reduced at these works; and it seems that
this can be more cheaply done here than there, where they have neither
wood for the fires nor soda for the operation.

Clear Lake is but twelve hours distant from San Francisco; the journey
thither is full of interest, and the lake itself, with the natural wonders
on its shores, is one of the most interesting and enjoyable spots in
California to a tourist who wishes to breathe fresh mountain air and enjoy
some days of free, open-air life.

The visitor to Clear Lake should go by way of the Napa Valley, taking
stage for Lakeport at Calistoga, and return by way of the Russian River
Valley, taking the railroad at Cloverdale. Thus he will see on his journey
two of the richest and most fertile of the minor valleys of California,
both abounding in fruit and vines as well as in grain.

As there are two sides to Broadway, so there are two sides to the Bay of
San Francisco. On the one side lies the fine and highly-cultivated Santa
Clara Valley, filling up fast with costly residences and carefully-kept
country places. Opposite, on the other side of the bay, lies the Russian
River Valley, as beautiful naturally as that of the Santa Clara, and
of which Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, and Cloverdale are the chief
towns. It is a considerable plain, bounded by fine hills and distant
mountains, which open up, as you pass by on the railroad, numerous
pretty reaches of subsidiary vales, where farmers live protected by the
projecting hills from all harsh sea-breezes, and where frost is seldom if
ever felt.

As you ascend the valley, the madrone, one of the most striking trees
of California, becomes abundant and of larger growth, and its dark-green
foliage and bright cinnamon-colored bark ornament the landscape. The
laurel, too, or California bay-tree, grows thriftily among the hills, and
the plain and foot-hills are dotted with oak and redwood. This valley is
as yet somewhat thinly peopled, but it has the promise of a growth which
will make it the equal some day of the Santa Clara, and the superior,
perhaps, of the Napa Valley.




A part of Round Valley, in Mendocino County, is set apart and used for an
Indian reservation; and, under the present policy of the Government, an
attempt has been made to gather and keep all the Indians of the northern
coast of California upon this reserve. In point of fact they are not
nearly all there. One thousand and eighty-one men, women, and children,
according to a census recently taken, or nearly one thousand two hundred
according to the Rev. Mr. Burchard, the Indian agent, are actually within
the reservation lines; and about four hundred are absent, at work for
themselves or for white men, but have the right to come in at any time to
be clothed and fed.

Round Valley is a plain surrounded by high mountains. The plain is mostly
excellent agricultural land; the mountain slopes are valuable for grazing.
The reservation contains, it is said, sixty thousand acres; but only a
small part of this is plain, and the reservation occupies about one-third
or perhaps only a quarter of the whole valley. The remainder is held by
white farmers; and there is a rude little town, Covelo, in the centre of
the valley, about a mile and a half from the reservation house.

The reservation has a mill, store-houses, the houses of the agent and his
subordinates, two school-houses, and the huts of the Indians; the latter
are either rough board one-roomed shanties, or mere wigwams built by the
owners of brush, with peculiar low entrances, into which you must creep on
all-fours. These they prefer for summer use, and I found that a number
of the board-shanties were empty and the doors nailed up, their owners
sensibly preferring to live in brush houses during the hot weather.

When I arrived at the agency the Indians were receiving their ration of
flour, and, as they gathered in a great court-yard, I had an opportunity
to examine them. They are short, dark-skinned, generally ugly, stout, and
were dressed in various styles, but always in such clothing as they get
from the Government; not in their native costume. Among several hundred
women I saw not one even tolerably comely or conspicuously clean or neat;
but I saw several men very well dressed. They carried off their rations
in baskets which they make, and which are water-tight. The agent or
superintendent, Mr. Burchard, very obligingly showed me through the camp,
and answered my questions, and what follows of information I gained in
this way.

The Indian shanties contain a fire-place, a bed-place, and sometimes
a table; once I saw a small store-room; and on the walls hung dresses,
shoes, fishing-nets, and other property of the occupants. The agent
pointed out to me that in most of the houses there were bags of flour
and meal stowed away, and remarked, "Whatever they may say against the
President, no one can say that he does not make the Indians comfortable;"
and it is true that I saw everywhere in the camp the evidence of abundant
supplies of food and sufficient clothing in the possession of the Indians.
The superintendent said to me, "They have plenty of every thing; they have
often several bags of flour in the house at once; no man can say they are

The earthen floors of the houses were usually cleanly swept; there are
wells at which the people get water; the school-houses are well furnished,
and as good as the average country-school, and the Indians seem to suffer
no hardship of the merely physical kind. The agent, Mr. Burchard, seems to
be a genuinely kind person, simple-hearted, and, I should think, honest;
and his assistants, whom I saw, struck me as respectable men. Indeed,
several persons in the valley, unconnected with the reservation, told me
that under Mr. Burchard's rule the Indians were much better treated than
by his predecessor. I suppose, therefore, that I saw one of the most
favorable examples of the reservation system.

In what follows, then, I criticise the reservation system, so far, at
least, as it applies to the Indians of California, and not the management
at Round Valley; and I say that it is a piece of cruel and stupid
mismanagement and waste for which there is no excuse except in the
ignorance of the President who continues it.

Most of the Indians of these northern coast counties, as well as those of
Southern California, have for some years been a valuable laboring force
for the farmers. They were employed to clear land, to make hay, and
in many other avocations about the farm; they lived usually in little
rancherias, or collections of huts, near the farm-houses; the women washed
and did chores for the whites about the houses; and there has been, for at
least half a dozen years, no pretense even that their presence among the
whites was dangerous to these. Mr. Burchard told me himself that more than
half the Indian men at Round Valley were competent farmers, and that
the Indian women were used at the agency houses as servants, and made
excellent and competent house-help.

Scattered through Potter, Little Lake, Ukiah, and other valleys, they were
earning their living, and a number of farmers of that region have assured
me that it was a serious disadvantage to them to lose the help of these
Indians. Nor was it even necessary to speak their language in order to
use their labor, for the agent told me that, of the Potter Valley tribe,
nine-tenths speak English; of the Pitt Rivers, four-fifths; of the Little
Lakes, two-thirds; of the Redwoods, three-quarters; of the Concows and
Capellos, two-thirds. The Wylackies and Ukies speak less; they have been,
I believe, longer on the reservation. As I walked through the Indian camp,
English was as often spoken in my hearing as Indian.

The removal of the useful and self-supporting part of the Indian
population to the reservation was brought about by means which are a
disgrace to the United States Government. There is in all this northern
country a class of mean whites, ignorant, easily led to evil, and
extremely jealous of what they imagine to be their rights. Among these
somebody fomented a jealousy of the Indians. It was said that they took
the bread out of white men's mouths, that their labor interfered with
the white men, and so forth. In fact, I suspect that the Indians were
too respectable for these mean whites; and you can easily find people in
California who say that it is to the interest of the Indian Bureau to make
the whites hate the Indians.

The Indians were an industrious and harmless people; even the squaws
worked; the Indian men had learned to take contracts for clearing land,
weeding fields, and so forth; and many of them were so trustworthy that
the farmers made them small advances where it was necessary. They were not
turbulent, and I was surprised to be told that drunkenness was rare among

After secret deliberations among the mean whites, incited by no one knows
who, and headed by the demagogues who are never found wanting when dirty
work is to be done, a petition was sent to the State Superintendent of
Indian Affairs at San Francisco for the removal of the Indians; but the
more decent people immediately prepared and sent up a counter-petition,
stating the whole case. This was in the spring of 1872.

I do not know the State Indian agent, but I am told that he hesitated, did
not act, and, in May of the same year, a mob, without authority from him
or from any body else, without notice to the Indians, and without even
giving these poor creatures time to gather up their household goods or to
arrange their little affairs, drove them out of their houses, and sixty
miles, over a cruel road, to the reservation.


Against this act of lawless violence toward peaceable and self-supporting
men and women, who are, I notice, officially called "the nation's
unfortunate wards," the proper officer of the United States Government,
the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, did not protest, and for it no one
has ever been punished.

But this was not all. The Indians being thus driven out, a meeting was
called, at which it was announced that if they dared to return they would
be killed; and, in fact, three unfortunates, who ventured back after some
months to see their old homes, were shot down in cold blood; and, though
the men are known who did this, for it no one has ever been punished.
Why should they be? The mob was only carrying out the prevailing "Indian
policy," and the United States Government looked on with its hands folded.

It happens that the Indians of these little valleys are a mild race, not
prone to war. When the white settlers first came to this region they lived
unmolested by the Indians, who were numerous then, and might easily have
"wiped out," to use a California phrase, the intruding white men. It
happens that the Indians of the interior are braver and more warlike; and,
accordingly, among them there were forty-five resolute Modocs, unwilling
to be driven to a reservation, defying the United States for half a year.
But from what I have written one can see how the Modoc war came about;
for it arose from an attempt to force Captain Jack on to the Klamath
Reservation--an attempt made, not by United States troops, as it ought
to have been if it was to be done, but in their absence, and by men who
purposely and carefully kept the military ignorant of what they intended
to do; for there exists the utmost jealousy on the part of the Indian
agents, of the War Department and the military authorities; and I repeat
that the removal of the Modocs was planned and attempted to be carried
out by the Indian Bureau officers, they keeping the military in careful
ignorance of their designs.

I do not say too much when I say that if General Schofield had been
informed and consulted beforehand, there would have been no Modoc war, and
General Canby and Mr. Thomas might have been alive to-day.

Accordingly, these "unfortunate wards of the nation" are driven on the
reservation. If their agent happens to be honest and kindly, like Mr.
Burchard, they get enough to eat and to wear. If he is not, they do not
fare quite so well. Captain Jack said he was "tired of eating horse-meat."

But if you are a guardian, and have a ward, you are not satisfied if your
ward, presumedly an ignorant person in a state of pupilage, merely has
enough to eat and to wear. You endeavor to form his manners and morals.
Well, the Indian camp at Round Valley is in a deplorable state of
disorder. No attempt is made to teach our wards to be clean or orderly,
or to form in them those habits which might elevate, at least, their
children. The plain around the shanties is full of litter, and overgrown
with dog-fennel. As Mr. Burchard, the superintendent, walked about with
me, half-grown boys sat on the grass, and even on the school-house steps,
gambling with cards for tobacco, and they had not been taught manners
enough to rise or move aside at the superintendent's approach. As we
sat in the school-house, one, two, three Indian men came in to prefer
a request, but not one of them took off his hat. We entered a cabin and
found a big he-Indian lying on his bed. "Are you sick?" inquired Mr.
Burchard, and the lazy hound, without offering to rise, muttered "No; me
lying down."

The agent, in reply to my questions, said that they gambled a good deal
for money and beads during the week, but he had forbidden it on Sundays;
and he would not allow them to gamble away their clothing, as they
formerly did.

There are about eighty scholars on the school-list, and about fifty attend
school. Was there any compulsion used? I asked, and he said No. Now surely
here, if anywhere, one might begin with a compulsory school-law.

Did he attempt to regulate the conduct of the growing boys and girls? No.

Do the Indians marry on the reservation? No. One chief has two wives; men
leave their wives, or change them as they please.

What if children are born irregularly? Well, the reservation feeds and
supports all who are on it. Nobody suffers.

Are the women often diseased? Yes, nearly all of them.

Have you a hospital, or do you attempt to isolate those who are diseased?
No; the families all take care of their sick. The doctor visits them in
their shanties. (Bear in mind this reservation was established, and has
had Indians on it since 1860.)

Do the Indians have to ask permission to go to the town? No; they go when
they please.

Is there much drunkenness? No; singularly little.

Do you attempt to make them rise at any specified hour in the morning? No.

Have you a list or roster of the Indians who belong on the reservation?

How many Indians own horses? I do not know.

On Sunday there is preaching; the audience varies; and those who do not
come to church--where the preaching is in English--play shinny.

Is not all this deplorable? Here is a company of ignorant and
semi-barbarous people, forcibly gathered together by the United States
Government (with the help of a mob), under the pretense that they are the
"unfortunate wards of the nation;" and the Government does not require the
officers it sets over them to control them in any single direction where
a conscientious guardian would feel bound to control his ward. How can
habits of decency, energy, order, thrift, virtue, grow up--nay, how can
they continue, if in the beginning they existed, with such management?
Captain Jack and his forty-five Modocs were at least brave and energetic
men. Can any one blame them, if they were bored to desperation by such a
life as this, and preferred death to remaining on the reservation?

Nor is this all. Of the two thousand acres of arable land on the
reservation, about five hundred are kept for grazing, and one thousand
acres are in actual cultivation this year--seven hundred in grain and
hay, one hundred and ninety-five in corn, and one hundred and nine
in vegetables. A farmer, assistant-farmer, and gardener manage this
considerable piece of land. When they need laborers they detail such men
or women as they require, and these go out to work. They seldom refuse;
if they do, they are sent to the military post, where they are made to saw
wood. Not one of the cabins has about it a garden spot; all cultivation
is in common; and thus the Indian is deprived of the main incentive to
industry and thrift--the possession of the actual fruits of his own toil;
and, unless he were a deep-thinking philosopher, who had studied out for
himself the problems of socialism, he must, in the nature of things, be
made a confirmed pauper and shirk by such a system, in which he sees no
direct reward for his toil, and neither receives wages nor consciously
eats that which his own hands have planted.

In the whole system of management, as I have described it, you will
see that there is no reward for, or incentive to, excellence; it is all
debauching and demoralizing; it is a disgrace to the Government, which
consents to maintain at the public cost what is, in fact, nothing else but
a pauper shop and house of prostitution.

And what is true of this reservation is equally true of that on the Tule
River, in Southern California, which I saw in 1872. In both, to sum up the
story, the Government has deprived the farmers of an important laboring
force by creating a pauper asylum, called a reservation; and, having
thus injured the community, it further injures the Indian by a system of
treatment which ingeniously takes away every incentive to better living,
and abstains from controlling him on those very points wherein an upright
guardian would most rigidly and faithfully control and guide his ward.

To force a population of laboring and peaceable Indians on a reservation
is a monstrous blunder. For wild and predatory or unsettled Indians, like
the Apaches, or many tribes of the plains, the reservation is doubtless
the best place; but even then the Government, acting as guardian, ought to
control and train its wards; it ought to treat them like children, or at
least like beasts; it ought not only to feed and clothe them, but also
to teach them, and enforce upon them order, neatness, good manners, and
habits of discipline and steady labor. This seems plain enough, but it
will never be done by "Indian agents," selected from civil life, be these
ministers or laymen.

An army officer, methodical, orderly, and having the habit of command,
is the proper person for superintendent of a reservation; for drill
and discipline, regular hours, regular duties, respectful manners,
cleanliness, method--these are the elements of civilization that are
needed, and which an army officer knows how to impress without harshness,
because they are the essence of his own life. But under our present Indian
policy the army is the mere servant of the Indian agent. If it were not
for the small military force at Camp Wright, Mr. Burchard, the agent,
could not keep an Indian on his reservation. But the intelligent,
thoroughly-trained, and highly-educated soldier who commands there
has neither authority nor influence at the reservation. He is a mere
policeman, to whom an unruly Indian is sent for punishment, and who
goes out at the command of the superintendent, a person in every way his
inferior except in authority, to catch Indians when no mob is at hand to
drive them in.

A true and humane Indian policy would be to require all peaceable Indians
to support themselves as individuals and families among the whites, which
would at once abolish the Round Valley and Tule River reservations; to
place all the nomads on reservations, under the control of picked and
intelligent army officers, and to require these to ignore, except for
expediency's sake, all tribal distinctions and the authority of chiefs;
to form every reservation into a military camp, adopting and maintaining
military discipline, though not the drill, of course; to give to every
Indian family an acre of ground around its hut, and require it to
cultivate that, demanding of the male Indians at the same time two or
three days of labor every week in the common fields, or on roads and
other public improvements within the reservation during the season when
no agricultural labor is required; to curb their vices, as a parent would
those of his children; to compel the young to attend schools; to insist
upon a daily morning muster, and a daily inspection of the houses and
grounds; to establish a hospital for the sick; and thus gradually
to introduce the Indian to civilization by the only avenue open to
savages--by military discipline.

Under such a system a reserve like that of Round Valley would not to-day,
after thirteen years of occupation, be a mass of weeds and litter, with
bad roads, poor fences, and an almost impassable corduroy bridge over a
little ditch. On the contrary, in half the time it would be a model of
cleanliness and order; it would have the best roads, the neatest cottages,
the cleanest grounds, the most thorough culture; and when the Indians had
produced this effect, they would not fail to be in love with it.

Nor is it impossible to do all this with Indians. But it needs men used to
command, well educated, and with habits of discipline--the picked men
of the army. At present, an Indian reservation differs from an Indian
rancheria or village only in that it contains more food, more vice, and
more lazy people.




Some years ago, before there was a wagon-road between Cloverdale and
Mendocino City, or Big River, as it is more commonly called up here on
the northern coast, the mail was carried on horse--or, more usually, on
mule--back; and the mail-rider was caught, on one stormy and dark night,
upon the road, and found himself unable to go farther. In this dilemma
he took refuge, with his mule and the United States mails, in a hollow
redwood, and man and mule lay down comfortably within its shelter. They
had room to spare indeed, as I saw when the stage-driver pointed out the
tree to me and kindly stopped until I examined it.

At a road-side inn I found they had roofed over a hollow stump, and used
it as a capacious store-room.

All these were large trees, of course; but there is no reason to believe
that they were the biggest of their kind; and when you have traveled for
two or three days through the redwood forests of the northern coast of
California you will scarcely be surprised at any story of big trees.

The redwood seems to be found only near the coast of California; it needs
the damp air which comes from the sea and which blows against the mountain
slopes, which the tree loves. The coast, from fifty miles north of San
Francisco to the northern border of Humboldt County, is a dense redwood
forest; it is a mountainous and broken country, and the mountains are cut
at frequent intervals by streams, some but a few miles in length, others
penetrating into the interior by narrow cañons forty or fifty miles, and
dividing in their upper waters into several branches.

The man who wondered at the wisdom of Providence in causing great
rivers to flow past large cities would be struck with admiration at
the convenient outflow of these streams; for upon them depends the
accessibility of the redwood forests to the loggers and saw-mill men who
are busily turning these forests into lumber. At the mouth of every stream
is placed a saw-mill; and up these little rivers, many of which would
hardly aspire to the dignity of creeks in Missouri or Mississippi, loggers
are busy chopping down huge trees, sawing them into lengths, and floating
them down to the mills.

The redwood has the color of cedar, but not its fragrance; it is a soft
wood, unfit for ship-building, but easily worked and extraordinarily
durable. It is often used in California for water-pipes, and makes
the best fence posts, for it never rots below ground. Moreover, it is
excellent material for houses. When varnished, it keeps its fine red
color, but without this protection it slowly turns black with exposure to
the air. It is a most useful lumber, and forms a not unimportant part of
the natural wealth of California.

The saw-mills are mostly on so large a scale that about every one grows up
a village or town, which usually contains several saloons or grog-shops,
one or two billiard-rooms, a rude tavern or two, a doctor or two, several
stores, and, in some cases, a church. There are, besides, the houses of
those mill-men who have families, shanties for the bachelors, and usually
one or two houses of greater pretensions, inhabited by the owners or local

Not easily accessible, these little saw-mill ports are rarely visited by
strangers, and the accommodations are somewhat rude; but the people are
kindly, and the country is wonderfully picturesque, and well repays a

The absolute coast is almost barren, by reason of the harsh, strong winds
which prevail during the greater part of the year. The redwood forests
begin a mile or two back from the sea. The climate of this part of the
coast is remarkably equal, cool but not cold, all the year round; they
have fires in the evening in July, and don't shut their doors, except in
a storm, in December. They wear the same clothing all the year round, and
seldom have frost. But when you get out of the reach of the sea, only a
mile back, you find hot weather in July; and in winter they have snow,
quite deep sometimes, in the redwoods.

Where the little saw-mill rivers enter the sea, there is usually a sort
of roadstead--a curve of the shore, not enough to make a harbor, but
sufficient to give anchorage and a lee from the prevailing north-west
wind, which makes it possible, by different devices, to load vessels.
There are rivers in Humboldt County where nature has not provided even
this slight convenience, and there--it being impossible to ship the
lumber--no saw-mills have been established.

Vessels are frequently lost, in spite of all precautions; for, when the
wind changes to south-west, the whole Pacific Ocean rolls into these
roadsteads; and, when a gale is seen approaching, the crews anchor their
ships as securely as they can, and then go ashore. It has happened in
Mendocino harbor, that a schooner has been capsized at her anchorage by a
monstrous sea; and Captain Lansing told me that in the last twenty years
he had seen over a hundred persons drowned in that port alone, in spite of
all precautions.

The waves have cut up the coast in the most fantastic manner. It is
rock-bound, and the rock seems to be of varying hardness, so that the
ocean, trying every square inch every minute of the day for thousands
of years, has eaten out the softer parts, and worked out the strangest
caverns and passages. You scarcely see a headland or projecting point
through which the sea has not forced a passage, whose top exceeds a
little the mark of high tide; and there are caves innumerable, some with
extensive ramifications. I was shown one such cave at Mendocino City, into
which a schooner, drifting from her anchors, was sucked during a heavy
sea. As she broke from her anchors the men hoisted sail, and the vessel
was borne into the cave with all sail set. Her masts were snapped off like
pipe-stems, and the hull was jammed into the great hole in the rock, where
it began to thump with the swell so vehemently that two of the frightened
crew were at once crushed on the deck by the overhanging ceiling of the
cave. Five others hurriedly climbed out over the stern, and there hung on
until ropes were lowered to them by men on the cliff above, who drew them
up safely. It was a narrow escape; and a more terrifying situation than
that of this crew, as they saw their vessel sucked into a cave whose depth
they did not know, can hardly be imagined outside of a hasheesh dream.
The next morning the vessel was so completely broken to pieces that not a
piece the size of a man's arm was ever found of her hull.


I suppose all saw-mills are pretty much alike; those on this coast not
only saw lumber of different shapes and sizes, but they have also planing
and finishing apparatus attached; and in some the waste lumber is worked
up with a good deal of care and ingenuity. But in many of the mills there
is great waste. It is probably a peculiarity of the saw-mills on this
coast, that they must provide a powerful rip-saw to rip in two the larger
logs before they are small enough for a circular saw to manage. Indeed,
occasionally the huge logs are split with wedges, or blown apart with
gunpowder, in the logging camps, because they are too vast to be floated
down to the mill in one piece. The expedients for loading vessels are
often novel and ingenious. For instance, at Mendocino the lumber is loaded
on cars at the mill, and drawn by steam up a sharp incline, and by horses
off to a point which shelters and affords anchorage for schooners.
This point is, perhaps, one hundred feet above the water-line, and long
wire-rope stages are projected from the top, and suspended by heavy
derricks. The car runs to the edge of the cliff; the schooner anchors
under the shipping stage one hundred feet below, and the lumber is slid
down to her, a man standing at the lower end to check its too rapid
descent with a kind of brake. When a larger vessel is to be loaded, they
slide the lumber into a lighter, and the ship is loaded from her. The
redwood is shipped not only to California ports, but also to China and
South America; and while I was at. Mendocino, a bark lay there loading for
the Navigator Islands.

A large part of the lumbering population consists of bachelors, and for
their accommodation you see numerous shanties erected near the saw-mills
and lumber piles. At Mendocino City there is quite a colony of such
shanties, two long rows, upon a point or cape from which the lumber is

I had the curiosity to enter one of these little snuggeries, which
was unoccupied. It was about ten by twelve feet in area, had a large
fire-place (for fuel is shamefully abundant here), a bunk for sleeping,
with a lamp arranged for reading in bed, a small table, hooks for clothes,
a good board floor, a small window, and a neat little hood over the
door-way, which gave this little hut quite a picturesque effect. There
was, besides, a rough bench and a small table.

It seemed to me that in such a climate as that of Mendocino, where they
wear the same clothes all the year round, have evening fires in July, and
may keep their doors open in January, such a little kennel as this meets
all the real wants of the male of the human race.

This, I suspect, is about as far as man, unaided by woman, would have
carried civilization anywhere. Whatever any of us have over and above such
a snuggery as this we owe to womankind; whatever of comfort or elegance
we possess, woman has given us, or made us give her. I think no wholesome,
right-minded man in the world would ever get beyond such a hut; and I
even suspect that the occupant of the shanty I inspected must have been in
love, and thinking seriously of marriage, else he would never have nailed
the pretty little hood over his door-way. So helpless is man! And yet
there are people who would make of woman only a kind of female man!

As you travel along the coast, the stage-road gives you frequent and
satisfactory views of its curiously distorted and ocean-eaten caves and
rocks. It has a dangerous and terrible aspect, no doubt, to mariners, but
it is most wonderful, viewed from the shore. At every projection you see
that the waves have pierced and mined the rock; if the sea is high, you
will hear it roar in the caverns it has made, and whistle and shriek
wherever it has an outlet above through which the waves may force the air.

The real curiosity of this region is a logging camp. The redwood country
is astonishingly broken; the mountain sides are often almost precipitous;
and on these steep sides the redwood grows tall and straight and big
beyond the belief of an Eastern man. The trees do not occupy the whole
ground, but share it with laurels, dogwood, a worthless kind of oak,
occasionally pine, and smaller wood. It is a kind of jungle; and the
loggers, when they have felled a number of trees, set fire to the brush
in order to clear the ground before they attempt to draw the logs to the


A logging camp is an assemblage of rude redwood shanties, gathered about
one larger shanty, which is the cook-house and dining-hall, and where
usually two or three Chinamen are at work over the stove, and setting
the table. The loggers live well; they have excellent bread, meat, beans,
butter, dried apples, cakes, pies, and pickles; in short, I have dined in
worse places.

A camp is divided into "crews;" a crew is composed of from twenty to
twenty-six men, who keep one team of eight or ten oxen busy hauling the
logs to water.

A "crew" consists of teamsters, choppers, chain-tenders, jack-screw
men (for these logs are too heavy to be moved without such machinery),
swampers, who build the roads over which the logs are hauled, sawyers,
and barkers. A teamster, I was told, receives seventy dollars per month, a
chopper fifty dollars, chain-tenders and jack-screw men the same, swampers
forty-five dollars, sawyers forty dollars, and barkers, who are usually
Indians, one dollar a day and board besides, for all. The pay is not bad,
and as the chances to spend money in a logging camp are not good, many of
the men lay up money, and by-and-by go to farming or go home. They work
twelve hours a day.

A man in Humboldt County got out of one redwood tree lumber enough to make
his house and barn, and to fence in two acres of ground.

A schooner was filled with shingles made from a single tree.

One tree in Mendocino, whose remains were shown to me, made a mile of
railroad ties. Trees fourteen feet in diameter have been frequently found
and cut down; the saw-logs are often split apart with wedges, because the
entire mass is too large to float in the narrow and shallow streams; and I
have even seen them blow a log apart with gunpowder.

A tree four feet in diameter is called undersized in these woods; and so
skillful are the wood-choppers that they can make the largest giant of the
forest fall just where they want it, or, as they say, they "drive a stake
with the tree."

To chop down a redwood-tree, the chopper does not stand on the ground, but
upon a stage sometimes twelve feet above the ground. Like the sequoia,
the redwood has a great bulk near the ground, but contracts somewhat a
few feet above. The chopper wants only the fair round of the tree, and
his stage is composed of two stout staves, shod with a pointed iron at one
end, which is driven into the tree. The outer ends are securely supported;
and on these staves he lays two narrow, tough boards, on which he stands,
and which spring at every blow of his axe. It will give you an idea of the
bulk of these trees, when I tell you that in chopping down the larger ones
two men stand on the stage and chop simultaneously at the same cut, facing
each other.

They first cut off the bark, which is from four to ten, and often fifteen
inches thick. This done, they begin what is called the "undercut"--the cut
on that, side toward which the tree is meant to fall; and when they have
made a little progress, they, by an ingenious and simple contrivance,
fix upon the proper direction of the cut, so as to make the tree fall
accurately where they want it. This is necessary, on account of the great
length and weight of the trees, and the roughness of the ground, by reason
of which a tree carelessly felled may in its fall break and split
into pieces, so as to make it entirely worthless. This happens not
unfrequently, in spite of every care.

So skillful are they in giving to the tree its proper direction that they
are able to set a post or stake in the ground a hundred feet or more from
the root of the tree, and drive it down by felling the tree on top of it.

"Can you really drive a stake with a tree?" I asked, and was answered, "Of
course, we do it every day."

The "under-cut" goes in about two-thirds the diameter. When it is finished
the stage is shifted to the opposite side, and then it is a remarkable
sight to see the tall, straight mass begin to tremble as the axe goes in.
It usually gives a heavy crack about fifteen minutes before it means to
fall. The chopper thereupon gives a warning shout, so that all may stand
clear--not of the tree, for he knows very well where that will go, and in
a cleared space men will stand within ten feet of where the top of a tree
is to strike, and watch its fall; his warning is against the branches of
other trees, which are sometimes torn off and flung to a distance by the
falling giant, and which occasionally dash out men's brains.

At last the tree visibly totters, and slowly goes over; and as it goes the
chopper gets off his stage and runs a few feet to one side. Then you hear
and see one of the grandest and most majestic incidents of forest life.
There is a sharp crack, a crash, and then a long, prolonged, thunderous
crash, which, when you hear it from a little distance, is startlingly like
an actual and severe thunder-peal. To see a tree six feet in diameter,
and one hundred and seventy-five feet high, thus go down, is a very great
sight, not soon forgotten.

The choppers expressed themselves as disappointed that they could not just
then show me the fall of a tree ten or twelve feet in diameter, and over
two hundred feet high. In one logging camp I visited there remained a
stump fourteen feet high. At this height the tree was fourteen feet in
diameter, perfectly round and sound, and it had been sawn into seventeen
logs, each twelve feet long. The upper length was six feet in diameter.
Probably the tree was three hundred feet long, for the top for a long
distance is wasted.

So many of the trees and so many parts of trees are splintered or broken
in the fall, that the master of a logging camp told me he thought they
wasted at least as much as they saved; and as the mills also waste a
good deal, it is probable that for every foot of this lumber that goes to
market two feet are lost. A five-foot tree occupies a chopper from two
and a half to three and a half hours, and to cut down a tree eight feet in
diameter is counted a day's work for a man.

When the tree is down the sawyers come. Each has a long saw; he removes
the bark at each cut with an axe, and then saws the tree into lengths.
It is odd enough to go past a tree and see a saw moving back and forward
across its diameter without seeing the man who moves it, for the tree
hides him completely from you, if you are on the side opposite him. Then
come the barkers, with long iron bars to rip off the thick bark; then the
jack-screw men, three or four of whom move a log about easily and rapidly
which a hundred men could hardly budge. They head it in the proper
direction for the teamsters and chain-men, and these then drag it down to
the water over roads which are watered to make the logs slide easily; and
then, either at high tide or during the winter freshets, the logs are run
down to the mill.

The Maine men make the best wood-choppers, but the logging camp is a
favorite place also for sailors; and I was told that Germans are liked as
workmen about timber. The choppers grind their axes once a week--usually,
I was told, on Sunday--and all hands in a logging camp work twelve hours a

The Government has lately become very strict in preserving the timber
on Congress land, which was formerly cut at random, and by any body who
chose. Government agents watch the loggers, and if these are anywhere
caught cutting timber on Congress land their rafts are seized and sold.
At present prices, it pays to haul logs in the redwood country only about
half a mile to water; all trees more distant than this from a river are
not cut; but the rivers are in many places near each other, and the belt
of timber left standing, though considerable, is not so great as one would

Redwood lumber has one singular property--it shrinks endwise, so that
where it is used for weather-boarding a house, one is apt to see the
butts shrunk apart. I am told that across the grain it does not shrink

Accidents are frequent in a logging camp, and good surgeons are in demand
in all the saw-mill ports, for there is much more occasion for surgery
than for physic. Men are cut with axes, jammed by logs, and otherwise
hurt, one of the most serious dangers arising from the fall of limbs torn
from standing trees by a falling one. Often such a limb lodges or sticks
in the high top of a tree until the wind blows it down, or the concussion
of the wood-cutter's axe, cutting down the tree, loosens it. Falling from
such a height as two hundred or two hundred and fifty feet, even a light
branch is dangerous, and men sometimes have their brains dashed out by
such a falling limb.

When you leave the coast for the interior, you ride through mile after
mile of redwood forest. Unlike the firs of Oregon and Puget Sound, this
tree does not occupy the whole land. It rears its tall head from a jungle
of laurel, madrone, oak, and other trees; and I doubt if so many as fifty
large redwoods often stand upon a single acre. I was told that an average
tree would turn out about fifteen thousand feet of lumber, and thus even
thirty such trees to the acre would yield nearly half a million feet.




The great valleys of California do not produce much butter, and probably
never will, though I am told that cows fed on alfalfa, which is a kind of
lucerne, yield abundant and rich milk, and, when small and careful farming
comes into fashion in this State, there is no reason why stall-fed cows
should not yield butter, even in the San Joaquin or Sacramento valleys.
Indeed, with irrigation and stall-feeding, as one may have abundance of
green food all the year round in the valleys, there should be excellent
opportunity for butter-making.

But it is not necessary to use the agricultural soil for dairy purposes.
In the foot-hills of the Sierras, and on the mountains, too, for a
distance of more than a hundred miles along and near the line of the
railroad, there is a great deal of country admirably fitted for dairying,
and where already some of the most prosperous butter ranchos, as they call
them here, are found. And as they are near a considerable population of
miners and lumber-men, and have access by railroad to other centres of
population, both eastward and westward, the business is prosperous in this
large district, where, by moving higher up into the mountains as summer
advances, the dairy-man secures green food for his cows the summer
through, without trouble, on the one condition that he knows the country
and how to pick out his land to advantage.

Another dairy district lies on the coast, where the fogs brought in by the
prevailing north-west winds keep the ground moist, foster the greenness
and succulence of the native grasses during the summer, at least in the
ravines, and keep the springs alive.

Marin County, lying north of San Francisco, is the country of butter
ranches on the coast, though there are also many profitable dairies
south of the bay, in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. In fact, dry
as California is commonly and erroneously supposed to be, it exports a
considerable quantity of butter, and a dairy-man said to me but recently
that, to make the business really prosperous, the State needed a million
or two more inhabitants, which means that the surplus product is now so
great that it keeps down the price. No small quantity of this surplus goes
East, as far as New York; and it is one of the curiosities of production
and commerce that, while California can send butter to the Atlantic, it
buys eggs of Illinois. One would have thought the reverse more probable.

Marin County offers some important advantages to the dairy-farmer. The
sea-fogs which it receives cause abundant springs of excellent soft water,
and also keep the grass green through the summer and fall in the gulches
and ravines. Vicinity to the ocean also gives this region a very equal
climate. It is never cold in winter nor hot in summer. In the milk-houses
I saw usually a stove, but it was used mainly to dry the milk-room after
very heavy fogs or continued rains; and in the height of summer the
mercury marks at most sixty-seven degrees, and the milk keeps sweet
without artificial aids for thirty-six hours.

The cows require no sheds nor any store of food, though the best dairymen,
I noticed, raised beets; but more, they told me, to feed to their pigs
than for the cows. These creatures provide for themselves the year round
in the open fields; but care is taken, by opening springs and leading
water in iron pipes, to provide an abundance of this for them.

The county is full of dairy-farms; and, as this business requires rather
more and better buildings than wheat, cattle, or sheep farming, as well as
more fences, this gives the country a neater and thriftier appearance than
is usual among farming communities in California. The butter-maker must
have good buildings, and he must keep them in the best order.

But, besides these smaller dairy-farms, Marin County contains some large
"butter ranches," as they are called, which are a great curiosity in their
way. The Californians, who have a singular genius for doing things on
a large scale which in other States are done by retail, have managed to
conduct even dairying in this way, and have known how to "organize" the
making of butter in a way which would surprise an Orange County farmer.
Here, for instance--and to take the most successful and complete of these
experiments--is the rancho of Mr. Charles Webb Howard, on which I had the
curiosity to spend a couple of days. It contains eighteen thousand acres
of land well fitted for dairy purposes. On this he has at this time nine
separate farms, occupied by nine tenants engaged in making butter. To let
the farms outright would not do, because the tenants would put up poor
improvements, and would need, even then, more capital than tenant-farmers
usually have. Mr. Howard, therefore, contrived a scheme which seems to
work satisfactorily to all concerned, and which appears to me extremely

[Illustration: POINT REYES.]

He fences each farm, making proper subdivisions of large fields; he opens
springs, and leads water through iron pipes to the proper places, and
also to the dwelling, milk-house, and corral. He builds the houses, which
consist of a substantial dwelling, twenty-eight by thirty-two feet,
a story and a half high, and containing nine rooms, all lathed and
plastered; a thoroughly well-arranged milk-house, twenty-five by fifty
feet, having a milk-room in the centre twenty-five feet square, with a
churning-room, store-room, wash-room, etc.; a barn, forty by fifty
feet, to contain hay for the farm-horses; also a calf-shed, a corral, or
inclosure for the cows, a well-arranged pig-pen; and all these buildings
are put up in the best manner, well painted, and neat.

The tenant receives from the proprietor all this, the land, and, cows to
stock it. He furnishes, on his part, all the dairy utensils, the needed
horses and wagons, the furniture for the house, the farm implements, and
the necessary labor. The tenant pays to the owner twenty-seven dollars
and a half per annum for each cow, and agrees to take the best care of the
stock and of all parts of the farm; to make the necessary repairs, and to
raise for the owner annually one-fifth as many calves as he keeps cows,
the remainder of the calves being killed and fed to the pigs. He agrees
also to sell nothing but butter and hogs from the farm, the hogs being
entirely the tenant's property.

Under this system fifteen hundred and twenty cows are now kept on nine
separate farms on this estate, the largest number kept by one man being
two hundred and twenty-five, and the smallest one hundred and fifteen. Mr.
Howard has been for years improving his herd; he prefers short-horns,
and he saves every year the calves from the best milkers in all his herd,
using also bulls from good milking strains. I was told that the average
product of butter on the whole estate is now one hundred and seventy-five
pounds to each cow; many cows give as high as two hundred, and even two
hundred and fifty pounds per annum.

Men do the milking, and also the butter-making, though on one farm I found
a pretty Swedish girl superintending all the indoor work, with such skill
and order in all the departments, that she possessed, so far as I saw, the
model dairy on the estate.

Here, said I to myself, is now an instance of the ability of women to
compete with men which would delight Mrs. Stanton and all the Woman's
Rights people; here is the neatest, the sweetest, the most complete dairy
in the whole region; the best order, the most shining utensils, the nicest
butter-room--and not only butter, but cheese also, made, which is
not usual; and here is a rosy-faced, white-armed, smooth-haired,
sensibly-dressed, altogether admirable, and, to my eyes, beautiful Swedish
lass presiding over it all; commanding her men-servants, and keeping every
part of the business in order.

Alas! Mrs. Stanton, she has discovered a better business than
butter-making. She is going to marry--sensible girl that she is--and she
is not going to marry a dairy-farmer either.

I doubt if any body in California will ever make as nice butter as this
pretty Swede; certainly, every other dairy I saw seemed to me commonplace
and uninteresting, after I had seen hers. I don't doubt that the young
man who has had the art to persuade her to love him ought to be hanged,
because butter-making is far more important than marrying. Nevertheless,
I wish him joy in advance, and, in humble defiance of Mrs. Stanton and her
brilliant companions in arms, hereby give it as my belief that the pretty
Swede is a sensible girl--that, to use a California vulgarism, "her head
is level."

The hogs are fed chiefly on skim-milk, and belong entirely to the tenant.
The calves, except those which are raised for the proprietor, are, by
agreement, killed and fed to the pigs. The leases are usually for three

The cows are milked twice a day, being driven for that purpose into a
corral, near the milk-house. I noticed that they were all very gentle;
they lay down in the corral with that placid air which a good cow has; and
whenever a milkman came to the beast he wished to milk, she rose at once,
without waiting to be spoken to. One man is expected to milk twenty cows
in the season of full milk. On some places I noticed that Chinese were
employed in the milk-house, to attend to the cream and make the butter.

The tenants are of different nationalities, American, Swedes, Germans,
Irish, and Portuguese. A tenant needs about two thousand dollars in money
to undertake one of these dairy-farms; the system seems to satisfy those
who are now engaged in it. The milkers and farm hands receive thirty
dollars per month and "found;" and good milkers are in constant demand.
Every thing is conducted with great care and cleanliness, the buildings
being uncommonly good for this State, water abundant, and many
labor-saving contrivances used.

At one end of the corral or yard in which the cows are milked is a
platform, roofed over, on which stands a large tin, with a double
strainer, into which the milk is poured from the buckets. It runs through
a pipe into the milk-house, where it is again strained, and then emptied
from a bucket into the pans ranged on shelves around. The cream is taken
off in from thirty-six to forty hours; and the milk keeps sweet thirty-six
hours, even in summer. The square box-churn is used entirely, and is
revolved by horse-power. They usually get butter, I was told, in half an

The butter is worked on an ingenious turn-table, which holds one hundred
pounds at a time, and can, when loaded, be turned by a finger; and a
lever, working upon a universal joint, is used upon the butter. When
ready, it is put up in two-pound rolls, which are shaped in a hand-press,
and the rolls are not weighed until they reach the city. It is packed in
strong, oblong boxes, each of which holds fifty-five rolls.

The cows are not driven more than a mile to be milked; the fields being
so arranged that the corral is near the centre. When they are milked, they
stray back of themselves to their grazing places.




General Bidwell, of Butte County, raised last year on his own estate,
besides a large quantity of fruit, seventy-five thousand bushels of
wheat. Dr. Glenn, of Colusa County, raised and sent to market from his
own estate, two hundred thousand bushels. Mr. Warner, of Solano County,
produced nine thousand gallons of cider from his own orchards. A
sheep-grazer in Placer County loaded ten railroad cars with wool, the clip
of his own sheep. For many weeks after harvest you may see sacks of wheat
stacked along the railroad and the river for miles, awaiting shipment; for
the farmers have no rain to fear, and the grain crop is thrashed in the
field, bagged, and stacked along the road, without even a tarpaulin to
cover it.

In 1855, California exported about four hundred and twenty tons of wheat;
in 1873, the export was but little less than six hundred thousand tons. In
1857, six casks and six hundred cases of California wine were sent out of
the State; in 1872, about six hundred thousand gallons were exported. In
1850, California produced five thousand five hundred and thirty pounds of
wool; in 1872, this product amounted to twenty-four million pounds. Thirty
million pounds of apples, ten million pounds of peaches, four and a half
million pounds of apricots, nearly two million pounds of cherries, are
part of the product of the State, in which the man is still living who
brought across the Plains the first fruit-trees to set out a nursery;
while four and a half million of oranges, and a million and a half of
lemons, shipped from the southern part of the State, show the rapid growth
of that culture.

In the northern counties, of which Tehama and Butte are a sample, they are
usually fortunate in the matter of late as well as early rains; but
close under the coast range the country is dryer, as is natural, the high
mountain range absorbing the moisture from the north-westerly winds. They
begin to plow as soon as it rains, usually in November, and sow the
grain at once. Formerly the higher plains were thought to be fit only for
grazing; but even the red lands, which are somewhat harder to break up,
and were thought to be infertile, are found to bear good crops of grain;
and this year these lands bear the drought better than some that were and
are preferred. Lambing takes place here in February, and they shear in
April. The grazing lands abound in wild oats, very nutritious, but apt to
run out where the pastures are overstocked. Alfilleria is not found so far
north as this; alfalfa has been sown all over the valley in proper places,
and does well. They cut it three times in the year, and turn stock in on
it after the last cutting; and all who grow it speak well of it.

Red Bluff is one of the oldest towns in the valley; it stands at the head
of navigation on the Sacramento, and was, therefore, a place of importance
before the railroad was built. The river here is narrow and shoal, and it
is crossed by one of those ferries common where the rapid current,
pushing against the ferry-boat, drives it across the stream, a wire cable
preventing it from floating down stream. The main street of the town
consists mainly of bar-rooms, livery-stables, barber-shops, and hotels,
with an occasional store of merchandise sandwiched between; and, if you
saw only this main street, you would conceive but a poor opinion of the
people. But other streets contain a number of pleasant, shady cottages;
and, as I drove out into the country, the driver pointed with pride to the
school-house, a large and fine building, which had just been completed at
a cost of thirty thousand dollars, and seemed to me worth the money. The
town has also water-works; and the people propose to bridge the Sacramento
at a cost of forty thousand dollars, and to build a new jail, to cost
fifteen thousand dollars. Such enterprises show the wealth of the people
in this State, and astonish the traveler, who imagines, in driving
over the great plain, that it is almost uninhabited, but sees, in a
thirty-thousand dollar school-house in a little town like Red Bluff, that
not only are there people, but that they have the courage to bear taxation
for good objects, and the means to pay.

From Red Bluff two of the great mountain peaks of Northern California
are magnificently seen--Lassen's Peaks and Shasta. The latter, still
one hundred and twenty miles off to the north, rears his great, craggy,
snow-covered summit high in the air, and seems not more than twenty miles
away. Lassen's Peaks are twins, and very lonely indeed. They are sixty
miles to the east, and are also, at this season, glistening with snow.
Between Lassen's and the Sacramento, some thirty miles up among the
mountains, there is a rich timber country, whose saw-mills supply the
northern part of the valley with lumber, sugar-pine being the principal
tree sawed up. The valley begins to narrow above Red Bluff, and the
foot-hills and mountains still abound in wild game. Hunters bring their
peltries hither for sale; and this has occasioned the establishment
at this point of a thriving glove factory, which turned out--from an
insignificant looking little shop--not less than forty thousand dollars'
worth of gloves last year. Two enterprising young men manage it, and they
employ, I was told, from fifty to eighty women in the work, and turn out
very excellent buckskin gloves, as well as some finer kinds. Such petty
industries are too often neglected in California, where every body still
wants to conduct his calling on a grand scale, and where dozens of ways to
prosperity, and even wealth, are constantly neglected, because they appear
too slow.

This whole country is only about four years in advance of the lower or San
Joaquin Valley, and the influence of climate and soil in bringing trees to
bear early was shown to me in several thrifty orchards, already beginning
to bear, on ground which four years ago was bought for two dollars and
fifty cents per acre. The habit of raising wheat is so strong here, that
almost every thing else is neglected; and I remember a farm where the
wheat field extended, unbroken, except by a narrow path leading to the
road, right up to the veranda of the farmer's house. His family lived on
canned fruits and vegetables; and except here and there a brilliant poppy,
which stubborn Dame Nature had inserted among his wheat, wife and children
had not a flower to grace mantle or table. I confess that it pleased me
to hear this farmer complain of hard times, because, as he said, the
speculators in San Francisco made more money from his wheat than he did.
If the speculators in San Francisco teach the farmers in California to
grow something besides wheat, they will deserve well of the State.

The upper waters of the Sacramento run through mountain passes, and
between banks so steep that for miles at a time the river is inaccessible,
except by difficult and often dangerous descents; and an old miner told me
that when this part of the river, between where Redding now lies and its
source, near Mount Shasta, was first "prospected" for gold, the miners or
explorers had to build boats and descend by water, trying for gold by the
way, because they could not get down by land. In those days, he said, if a
company of miners could not make twenty dollars a day each, the "prospect"
was too poor to detain them; and they made but a short stay at most points
on the Upper Sacramento.

The country was then full of Indians; and it was very strange, indeed, to
hear this miner--a thoroughly kind-hearted man he was, and now the father
of a family of children--tell with the utmost unconcern, and as a matter
of course, how they used to shoot down these Indians, who waylaid them at
favoring spots on the river, and tried to pick them off with arrows.

I remember hearing a little boy ask a famous general once how many men he
had killed in the course of his wars, and being disappointed when he heard
that the general, so far as he know, had never killed any body. I suppose
a soldier in battle but rarely knows that he has actually shot a man. But
one of these old Indian fighters sits down after dinner, over a pipe, and
relates to you, with quite horrifying coolness, every detail of the death
which his rifle and his sure eye dealt to an Indian; and when this one,
stroking meantime the head of a little boy who was standing at his knees,
described to me how he lay on the grass and took aim at a tall chief
who was, in the moonlight, trying to steal a boat from a party of
gold-seekers, and how, at the crack of his rifle, the Indian fell his
whole length in the boat and never stirred again, I confess I was dumb
with amazement. The tragedy had not even the dignity of an event in this
man's life. He shot Indians as he ate his dinner, plainly as a mere matter
of course. Nor was he a brute, but a kindly, honest, good fellow, not in
the least blood-thirsty.


The poor Indians have rapidly melted away under the fervent heat of
forty-rod whisky, rifles, and disease. This whole Northern country must
have been populous a quarter of a century ago; General Bidwell and other
old Californians have told me of the surprisingly rapid disappearance of
the Indians, after the white gold-seekers came in. It was, I do not doubt,
a pleasant land for the red men. They lived on salmon, clover, deer,
acorns, and a few roots which are abundant on mountain and plain, and of
all this food there is the greatest plenty even yet. If you travel toward
Oregon, by stage, in June, July, or August, you will see at convenient
points along the Sacramento parties of Indians spearing and trapping
salmon. They build a few rude huts of brush, gather sticks for the fire,
which is needed to cook and dry the salmon meat; and then, while the men,
armed with long two-pronged spears, stand at the end of logs projecting
over the salmon pools, and spear the abundant fish, the squaws clean the
fish, roast them to dryness among the hot stones of their rude fire-place,
and finally rub the dried meat to a powder between their hands, or by the
help of stones, when it is packed away in bags for winter use.

What you thus see on the Sacramento is going on at the same time on half
a dozen other rivers; and I am told that these Indians come from
considerable distances to this annual fishing, which was practiced by them
doubtless a long time before the white men came in. Not unfrequently
in these mountains you will find a castaway white man with a half-breed
family about him; "squaw-men" they are called, as a term of contempt, by
the more decent class.

As you drive by the farm-houses on the road, you may commonly see venison
hanging on the porch; and every farmer has a supply of fishing-rods and
lines, so that you can not go amiss for trout and venison. Few of them
know, however, that a trout ought to be cooked as quickly as possible
after he is caught; and if you do not take care, your afternoon fish will
appear on the table next day as corned trout, in which shape I have no
liking for it.

The Shasta Valley contains a good deal of excellent farming land, but
it is used now chiefly for cattle and sheep, and in many parts of it
the grazing is very fine. There are a number of lesser valleys scattered
through the mountains hereabouts. Indeed, the two ranges seem to open out
for a while, and Scott's Valley on the west, and the Klamath Lake country
to the east and north-east from Yreka, are favorite grazing regions. Here
there is occasional snow in the winter, and some cold weather; the spring
opens later and the rains last longer. The streams in all this region bear
gold, and miners are busy in them. Yreka, in the Shasta Valley, is the
centre of a considerable mining district, and therefore a busy place, even
without the Modoc war, which gave it a temporary renown during the winter
and spring. Now that the Modoc war is closed, no doubt the famous lava
beds will attract curious visitors from afar. They can be reached in
thirty-six hours from Yreka; and that place is distant thirty-six hours
from San Francisco.

Aside from the public lands still open in small tracts of eighty and
one hundred and sixty acres to pre-emption by actual settlers, under
the homestead law, and the railroad lands, to be had in sections of
six hundred and forty acres, the Sacramento Valley contains a number of
considerable Spanish grants; and the following account of these, which I
take from the San Francisco _Bulletin_ will give an Eastern reader some
idea of the extent of such grants, their value, and how they are used:

"The first large tract of land north and west of Marysville is the Neal
grant, containing about seventeen thousand acres. This grant is owned by
the Durham estate and Judge C.F. Lott, though Gruelly owns a large slice
of it also. The Neal grant is mostly composed of rich bottom-lands; nearly
all of it is farmed under lease; the lessees pay one-quarter to one-third
of the crops as rent. They do very well under this arrangement.

"The next grant on the north is that of Judge O.C. Pratt. It contains
twenty-eight thousand acres of bottom-land. Butte Creek skirts it on one
side for a distance of seventeen miles, and a branch of that creek runs
through the centre. Nearly six thousand acres are covered with large
oak-trees. There are about one hundred miles of fences on this rancho;
there are about ten thousand sheep, twelve hundred head of cattle, and two
hundred horses on it; the land has been cultivated or used as pasturage
for about fourteen years. About ten thousand acres of it, I am informed,
would readily sell in subdivisions for fifty dollars per acre; ten
thousand acres would sell for about thirty dollars, and eight thousand
acres at twenty dollars per acre. There are many tenants on this tract,
having leases covering periods of three to five years; rent, one-fourth of
the crop raised; the owner builds fences and houses for the lessees. The
average quantity of wool annually grown on this rancho is sixty thousand
pounds; beef cattle, two hundred and fifty head; value of produce received
as rent from tenants, twelve thousand dollars per year. Judge Pratt is
willing to sell farms of one hundred and sixty to three hundred and twenty
acres at about the rates named, and on easy terms.

"The Hensley grant, lying north of Judge Pratt's rancho, contains five
leagues. It was rejected by the United States Courts, and was taken up
by, and is covered with, settlers, who own one hundred and sixty to three
hundred and twenty acres each, worth forty to sixty dollars per acre.
Little or none of that land is for sale, the owners being too well
satisfied with their farms to sell them, even at the highest ruling rates.

"General Bidwell's rancho adjoins Judge Pratt's. It contains about twenty
thousand acres, of which about one-quarter is of the best quality, and
would readily sell at fifty to sixty dollars per acre. About five thousand
acres more, lying along the Sacramento River, are subject to overflow.
That portion is very rich grazing land, and is worth fifteen to twenty
dollars per acre. The other ten thousand acres lie near the foot-hills;
they are extremely well adapted to grape culture, and are worth five to
twelve dollars per acre. General Bidwell is not willing to sell.

"The next rancho on the west is owned by John Parrot. It contains about
seventeen thousand acres, and lies on the east bank of the Sacramento
River. It contains about four thousand acres of first-class wheat or corn
land; the remainder is composed of excellent pasturage; there are only a
few thousand sheep, and a few cattle and horses on this rancho. It has for
several years been cultivated by Morehead and Griffith, under a private
arrangement with the owner. It is understood that Parrot would sell,
either in a body or in small tracts, to desirable purchasers; his prices
would probably range from fifteen to fifty dollars per acre.

"The next large rancho is that of Henry Gerke, living twenty miles above
Chico. It now contains about eighteen thousand acres, of which a large
portion is suitable for wheat or corn growing, and grazing purposes. One
of the largest and finest vineyards in the State is on this rancho; and
the wine it produces has a large sale in the State. The most of Gerke's
land is devoted to wheat raising; eighteen hundred tons of wheat were
raised on it last year, and about twenty-two hundred tons this year. It is
mostly tilled by tenants. The land is worth from twenty to fifty dollars
per acre. The owner would sell the whole rancho, but it is not known
whether he would sell in small tracts or not. He has a standing offer of
six hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars for the land, vineyards, and

"General Wilson owns several thousand acres of the original Gerke grant.
His land is altogether devoted to wheat growing, and is worth forty
dollars per acre.

"A.G. Towne's grant adjoins Gerke's on the north and west. It now contains
about twelve thousand acres; much of it is devoted to wheat growing, and
is worth fifteen to forty dollars per acre, or an average all round of
twenty-five dollars.

"At Tehama, on the west side of the Sacramento River, is Thome's grant.
It contains about twenty thousand acres, one-third of which is of the very
best quality of wheat land, the remainder good grazing. It is understood
that this land can be bought either as a whole or in small farms. The
best of it is worth about forty-five dollars an acre; the body of it about
twenty dollars.

"The next grant, on the north, is that of William G. Chard. It is nearly
all cut up and owned in small farms. Colonel E.J. Lewis, a well-known
politician, is one of the largest owners on the Chard tract. He is
extensively engaged in wheat raising.

"Ide's grant is adjacent, on the north; it is also mostly divided and
owned in small tracts of one hundred and sixty to four hundred acres each.

"The Dye grant lies east of and opposite to Red Bluff. It was originally
a large grant, but has been partially subdivided. It contains some good
bottomland, but is mostly adapted to grazing.

"The most northerly grant in the State is that formerly owned by the late
Major Redding. It is partially subdivided. Like the Dye grant, it contains
some rich bottom-land, but, like it, is mostly adapted for grazing and
grape growing. Haggin and Tevis lately bought (or hold for debt) about
fifteen thousand acres of this rancho, which are worth about one hundred
thousand dollars, or about seven dollars per acre. It is understood from
inquiries made from the owners of these two last named tracts, that they
are willing to sell grain lands at about an average of thirty dollars per

Of course these grants make up, in the aggregate, but a small part of the
arable land of the Sacramento Valley.

[Illustration: "TACOMA," OR MOUNT RAINIER.]



The manufacture of cigars is one of the largest industries of San
Francisco. Last year the Government received taxes on 78,000,000 cigars
made in the State of California, and in September alone taxes were paid
on 8,000,000. But, though the State has thousands of acres of land well
fitted to produce tobacco, and though the "weed" has been grown here for
twenty years or more with great success, so far as getting a heavy crop is
concerned, I doubt if even 1,000,000 of cigars have, until this fall, been
made of tobacco raised in California.

There has, however, been no lack of efforts to produce here tobacco fit to
manufacture into cigars and for smoking and chewing purposes. The soil in
many parts of the State is peculiarly adapted to this plant; the climate,
mild and regular, favored its growth and hastened its perfection. The best
seed was procured from Connecticut, Kentucky, Virginia, Florida, and Cuba.
But for many years the product was rank, coarse, and fitter for sheep-wash
than for any other purpose.

Meantime, however, not a few men familiar with the old processes of
raising and curing the plant have tried their best ingenuity to improve
the quality. It was thought that the soil was too rich, because the
tobacco makes a rapid and heavy growth; but planting on thinner or older
soil did not answer. Several methods of curing were contrived, and there
is now reason to believe that the one known as the Culp process, from the
name of its patentee, will produce the desired result. I had heard and
read so much about it, and about the merit of the tobacco produced by
it, that I went down to Gilroy, seventy or eighty miles south of San
Francisco, to see what had really been accomplished. The account I give
below will probably interest many tobacco growing and manufacturing
readers, while it will, I fear, painfully affect the spirits of the
anti-tobacconists; for there is reason to believe that tobacco will become
presently one of the most important and valuable crops of this State.

I must premise that I am not an expert in tobacco, nor familiar with the
methods pursued in the East. I have seen a tobacco-field and the inside of
a Connecticut curing-house, and that is about all. I give, therefore, not
opinions, but facts.

Gilroy stands in a long and broad plain, a very rich piece of alluvial
bottom, with water so abundant that artesian wells are easily bored and
very common. At the depth of one hundred and thirty feet they get flowing
wells, and it happened in one case of which I heard that the water came up
with such force as to prevent the casing going down into the well, and
the pressure of the water broke away the ground, enlarged the bore of the
well, and threatened to flood a considerable area, so that the farmers
gathered in force, and by means of an iron caisson loaded with stones, and
with many cart-loads of stones besides, plugged up the dangerous hole.

The land is a deep alluvial loam, easily worked, and here, and in some
neighboring valleys, many tobacco growers have been engaged for the
last ten or twelve years. Mr. Culp, who was a tobacco grower, and, if I
understood him rightly, also a manufacturer in New York for some years
before he came here, and who appears, at any rate, to be a very thorough
farmer and a lover of clean fields, has planted tobacco here for fifteen
years. He has a farm of about seven hundred acres, four hundred of
which have this year been in tobacco. From him and others I learned the
following particulars of the way in which they cultivate the plant in

They sow the seed from the 1st to the 10th of January, and sometimes even
in December. The beds are prepared and sown as in the East, except that
they do not always burn the ground over, which, if I remember rightly,
is invariably done in Missouri and Kentucky. In this season, the days are
always warm enough for the little plants; but there are light frosts at
night, and they are protected against these by frames covered with thin
cotton cloth.

The fields are plowed--by the best growers--ten inches deep; cross-plowed
and harrowed until the soil is fine, and then ridged--that is to say, two
furrows are thrown together. This saves the plants from harm by a heavy
rain, and also makes the ground warmer, and is found to start the plants
more quickly.

Planting in the fields begins about the 8th of April; and the plants are
set a foot apart in the rows, the rows being three feet apart, if they are
from Havana seed; if Connecticut or Florida, they stand eighteen inches or
two feet apart in the rows.

They had grown, besides Havana and Florida, for their crop, Latakia,
Hungarian, Mexican, Virginia, Connecticut-seed Standard, Burleigh, White
Leaf, and some other kinds, by way of experiment.

Cultivators and shovel-plows are used to keep the soil loose and clean;
if the weather should prove damp and cold, the shovel-plow is used to make
the ridges somewhat higher. They go over the fields twice in the season
with these tools, using the hoe freely where weeds get into the rows. Last
year, in twenty-six days after they were done planting, they had gathered
two bales of tobacco. This, however, is not common, and was done by very
close management, and on a warm soil.

All the tobacco growers with whom I spoke assert that they are not
troubled with that hideous creature, "the worm." They attribute this in
part to the excellence of their soil, and partly to the abundance of birds
and yellow jackets. They do not "worm" their crop, it seems, which must
give them an enviable advantage over Eastern growers.

They do not always "top" the Havana, and they do very little "suckering."
If the ground is clean, they let the suckers from the root grow, and these
become as large and heavy as the original plant. They believe that the
soil is strong enough to bear the plants and suckers, and that they get a
better leaf and finer quality without suckering.

The planting is continued from April until the latter part of July, so as
to let the crop come in gradually; the last planting may be caught by an
early frost, but whatever they plant before the 1st of July is safe in
any season. Cutting begins about the 4th of June, and this year they were
cutting still on the 19th of October. The earlier cut plants sprout again
at once, and mature a second and even a third crop. Mr. Culp told me that
he had taken four crops of Havana in one year from the same field, and I
saw considerable fields of third crop just cut or standing; but in some
cases the frost had caught this. "If the soil is in perfect order, we can
here make a crop of Havana in forty days from the planting," said he.

One man can prepare and take care of ten acres here, keeping it in good
order. For planting and cutting, of course, an extra force is used. One
man can set out or plant three thousand plants in a day of Havana; of the
other kinds from fifteen hundred to two thousand.

The tobacco is cut with a hatchet; if it is Havana, the toppers usually
go just ahead of the cutters in the field, or they may be a day ahead.
Florida is topped ten days or two weeks before cutting. You must remember
that after April they have no rain here, so that all field work goes on
without interruption from the weather, and crops can be exposed in the
field as a planter would not dare do in the East. Up to the cutting, the
methods here differ from those used in the East, only so far as climate
and soil are different.

When the plant lies in the field Mr. Culp's peculiar process begins; and
this I prefer to describe to you as nearly as I can in his own words.
He said that tobacco had long been grown in California even before the
Americans came. He had raised it as a crop for fifteen years; and before
he perfected his new process, he was able usually to select the best of
his crop for smoking-tobacco, and sold the remainder for sheep-wash.
One year two millions of pounds were raised in the State, and, as it was
mostly sold for sheep-wash, it lasted several years, and discouraged the
growers. Tobacco always grew readily, but it was too rank and strong. They
used Eastern methods, topping and suckering, and as the plant had here a
very long season to grow and mature, the leaf was thick and very strong.

The main features of the Culp process are, he said, to let the tobacco,
when cut, wilt on the field; then take it at once to the tobacco-house and
pile it down, letting it heat on the piles to 100 degrees for Havana.
It must, he thinks, come to 100°, but if it rises to 102° it is ruined.
Piling, therefore, requires great judgment. The tobacco-houses are kept
at a temperature of about 70 degrees; and late in the fall, to cure a late
second or third crop, they sometimes use a stove to maintain a proper heat
in the house, for the tobacco must not lie in the pile without heating.


When it has had its first sweat, it is hung up on racks; and here Mr.
Culp's process is peculiar. He places the stalk between two battens,
so that it sticks out horizontally from the frame; thus each leaf hangs
independently from the stalk; and the racks or frames are so arranged that
all the leaves on all the stalks have a separate access to the air.

The tobacco-houses are frame buildings, 100 x 60 feet, with usually four
rows of racks, and two gangways for working. On the rack the surface
moisture dries from the leaf; and at the proper time it is again piled,
racked, and so on for three or even four times. The racks are of rough
boards, and the floor of the house is of earth.

After piling and racking for three weeks, the leaves are stripped from the
stalk and put into "hands," and they are then "bulked," and lie thus about
three months, when the tobacco is boxed. From the time of cutting,
from four to six months are required to make the leaf ready for the

"Piling" appears to be the most delicate part of the cure, and they have
often to work all night to save tobacco that threatens to overheat. Mr.
Culp thinks the dryness of the climate no disadvantage. I was told
that they find it useful sometimes to sprinkle the floors of the

I saw racks, too, in the fields--portable, and easily carried anywhere;
and on these a great quantity of Florida tobacco, used for chewing and
smoking, had been or was getting cured. It was piled in the field where it
was cut, and the whole curing process, up to "bulking," is carried on in
the open air. Havana "fillers" they also cure in the field, as the fine
color is not needed for that.

Mr. Culp thought his method of horizontal suspension allowed the juices
from the stalk to be carefully distributed among the leaves. He told me
that a fair average crop was about 1500 pounds of Havana, or 2500 pounds
of Florida, per acre, of merchantable leaf. In favorable localities this
was considerably exceeded, he said. For chewing-tobacco, the cut plant is
piled but once.

For four hundred acres of tobacco, about one hundred and twenty-five
Chinese were employed in cutting and curing. After planting and up to the
cutting season they had but fifty men employed. The Chinese receive one
dollar a day and board themselves, living an apparently jolly life in
shanties near the fields.

They get their Havana seed from Cuba. The Patent Office seed did not
do well. They do not like to risk seed of their own plants. He used
home-grown seed for nine years; he could not say that there was a serious
deterioration or change in the quality of the tobacco, but a singular
change in the form of the leaf took place. That from home-grown seed gets
longer, and the veins or ribs, which in Havana tobacco stand out at right
angles from the leaf stalk, take an acute angle, and thus become longer
and make up a greater part of the leaf. Of Florida tobacco the home-grown
seed comes true.

In summer the roads get very dusty in California, and this dust is a
disadvantage to the tobacco planter. On the Culp farm I found they were
planting double rows of shade trees along the main roads, and graveling
the interior roads; also, they seem to feel the high winds which sweep
through the California valleys, and were planting almonds and cotton-woods
for windbreaks in the fields. It seemed odd to see long rows of
almond-trees used for this purpose.

This process has so far won the confidence of experts in tobacco in this
State, that a company with large capital has undertaken not only the
raising of tobacco by its method, but also the manufacture into cigars,
and plug, smoking, and fine-cut chewing-tobacco. They are just beginning
operations in Gilroy, on a scale which will enable them to manufacture all
the tobacco grown this year on about six hundred acres, and they mean to
plant next year one thousand acres, and expect that from fifteen hundred
to two thousand acres will be planted and cured by others under licenses
from the patentee. Commercially, of course, their undertaking is yet an
experiment, though excellent cigars and tobacco have been made already;
but the year 1874 will decide the result; and if it should prove as
successful as is hoped, and as there is good cause to believe it will,
a new and very profitable branch of agriculture will be opened for the
farmers of this State; for tobacco will grow in almost all parts of it.




If you approach the harbor of San Francisco from the west, your first
sight of land will be a collection of picturesque rocks known as the
Farallones, or, more fully, the Farallones de los Frayles. They are six
rugged islets, whose peaks lift up their heads in picturesque masses out
of the ocean, twenty-three and a half miles from the Golden Gate, the
famous entrance of San Francisco Bay. Farallon is a Spanish word, meaning
a small pointed islet in the sea.

These rocks, probably of volcanic origin, and bare and desolate, lie in
a line from south-east to north-west--curiously enough the same line
in which the islands of the Hawaiian or Sandwich Island group have been
thrown up. Geologists say they are the outcrop of an immense granite dike.

The southernmost island, which is the largest--just as Hawaii, the
southernmost of the Sandwich Island group, is also the biggest--extends
for nearly a mile east and west, and is three hundred and forty feet high.
It is composed of broken and water-worn rocks, forming numerous angular
peaks, and having several caves; and the rock, mostly barren and bare,
has here and there a few weeds and a little grass. At one point there is a
small beach, and at another a depression; but the fury of the waves makes
landing at all times difficult, and for the most part impossible.

The Farallones are seldom visited by travelers or pleasure-seekers. The
wind blows fiercely here most of the time; the ocean is rough; and, to
persons subject to sea-sickness, the short voyage is filled with the
misery of that disease. Yet they contain a great deal that is strange and
curious. On the highest point of the South Farallon the Government has
placed a light-house, a brick tower seventeen feet high, surmounted by a
lantern and illuminating apparatus. It is a revolving white light, showing
a prolonged flash of ten seconds duration once in a minute. The light
is about three hundred and sixty feet above the sea, and with a clear
atmosphere is visible, from a position ten feet high, twenty-five and a
half miles distant; from an elevation of sixty feet, it can be seen nearly
thirty-one miles away; and it is plainly visible from Sulphur Peak on the
main-land, thirty-four hundred and seventy-one feet high, and sixty-four
and a half miles distant. The light-house is in latitude 37° 41' 8" north,
and longitude 122° 59' 05" west.

On our foggy Western coast it has been necessary to place the light-houses
low, because if they stood too high their light would be hidden in
fog-banks and low clouds. The tower on the South Farallon is, therefore,
low; and this, no doubt, is an advantage also to the light-keepers, who
are less exposed to the buffetings of the storm than if their labor and
care lay at a higher elevation.

As the Farallones lie in the track of vessels coming from the westward to
San Francisco, the light is one of the most important, as it is also one
of the most powerful on our Western coast; and it is supplemented by a
fog-whistle, which is one of the most curious contrivances of this kind
in the world. It is a huge trumpet, six inches in diameter at its smaller
end, and blown by the rush of air through a cave or passage connecting
with the ocean.

One of the numerous caves worn into the rocks by the surf had a hole at
the top, through which the incoming breakers violently expelled the air
they carried before them. Such spout-holes are not uncommon on rugged,
rocky coasts. There are several on the Mendocino coast, and a number on
the shores of the Sandwich Islands. This one, however, has been utilized
by the ingenuity of man. The mouth-piece of the trumpet or fog-whistle is
fixed against the aperture in the rock, and the breaker, dashing in with
venomous spite, or the huge bulging wave which would dash a ship to pieces
and drown her crew in a single effort, now blows the fog-whistle and warns
the mariner off. The sound thus produced has been heard at a distance of
seven or eight miles. It has a peculiar effect, because it has no regular
period; depending upon the irregular coming in of the waves, and upon
their similarly irregular force, it is blown somewhat as an idle boy would
blow his penny trumpet. It ceases entirely for an hour and a half at low
water, when the mouth of the cave or passage is exposed.



The life of the keepers of the Farallon light is singularly lonely and
monotonous. Their house is built somewhat under the shelter of the rocks,
but they live in what to a landsman would seem a perpetual storm; the
ocean roars in their ears day and night; the boom of the surf is their
constant and only music; the wild scream of the sea-birds, the howl of
the sea-lions, the whistle and shriek of the gale, the dull, threatening
thunder of the vast breakers, are the dreary and desolate sounds which
lull them to sleep at night, and assail their ears when they awake. In the
winter months even their supply vessel, which, for the most part, is their
only connection with the world, is sometimes unable to make a landing for
weeks at a time. Chance visitors they see only occasionally, and at that
distance at which a steamer is safe from the surf, and at which a girl
could not even recognize her lover. The commerce of San Francisco passes
before their eyes, but so far away that they can not tell the ships and
steamers which sail by them voiceless and without greeting; and of the
events passing on the planet with which they have so frail a social tie
they learn only at long and irregular intervals. The change from sunshine
to fog is the chief variety in their lives; the hasty landing of supplies
the great event in their months. They can not even watch the growth of
trees and plants; and to a child born and reared in such a place, a sunny
lee under the shelter of rocks is probably the ideal of human felicity.

Except the rock of Tristan d'Acunha in the Southern Atlantic Ocean, I have
never seen an inhabited spot which seemed so utterly desolate, so entirely
separated from the world, whose people appeared to me to have such a
slender hold on mankind. Yet for their solace they know that a powerful
Government watches over their welfare, and--if that is any comfort--that,
thirty miles away, there are lights and music and laughter and singing, as
well as crowds, and all the anxieties and annoyances incidental to what we
are pleased to call civilization.

But though these lonely rocks contain but a small society of human
beings--the keepers and their families--they are filled with animal life;
for they are the home of a multitude of sea-lions, and of vast numbers of
birds and rabbits.

The rabbits, which live on the scanty herbage growing among the rooks,
are descended from a few pair brought here many years ago, when some
speculative genius thought to make a huge rabbit-warren of these rocks for
the supply of the San Francisco market. These little animals are not very
wild. In the dry season they feed on the bulbous roots of the grass, and
sometimes they suffer from famine. In the winter and spring they are fat,
and then their meat is white and sweet. During summer and fall they are
not fit to eat.

They increase very rapidly, and at not infrequent intervals they
overpopulate the island, and then perish by hundreds of starvation and
the diseases which follow a too meagre diet. They are of all colors,
and though descended from some pairs of tame white rabbits, seem to have
reverted in color to the wild race from which they originated.

The Farallones have no snakes.

The sea-lions, which congregate by thousands upon the cliffs, and bark,
and howl, and shriek and roar in the caves and upon the steep sunny
slopes, are but little disturbed, and one can usually approach them within
twenty or thirty yards. It is an extraordinarily interesting sight to
see these marine monsters, many of them bigger than an ox, at play in the
surf, and to watch the superb skill with which they know how to control
their own motions when a huge wave seizes them, and seems likely to dash
them to pieces against the rocks. They love to lie in the sun upon the
bare and warm rocks; and here they sleep, crowded together, and lying upon
each other in inextricable confusion.

[Illustration: SEA-LIONS.]

The bigger the animal, the greater his ambition appears to be to climb
to the highest summit; and when a huge, slimy beast has with infinite
squirming attained a solitary peak, he does not tire of raising his
sharp-pointed, maggot-like head, and complacently looking about him. They
are a rough set of brutes--rank bullies, I should say; for I have watched
them repeatedly as a big one shouldered his way among his fellows, reared
his huge front to intimidate some lesser seal which had secured a favorite
spot, and first with howls, and if this did not suffice, with teeth and
main force, expelled the weaker from his lodgment. The smaller sea-lions,
at least those which have left their mothers, appear to have no rights
which any one is bound to respect. They get out of the way with an abject
promptness which proves that they live in terror of the stronger members
of the community; but they do not give up their places without harsh
complaints and piteous groans.

Plastered against the rocks, and with their lithe and apparently boneless
shapes conformed to the rude and sharp angles, they are a wonderful, but
not a graceful or pleasing sight. At a little distance they look like huge
maggots, and their slow, ungainly motions upon the land do not lessen this
resemblance. Swimming in the ocean, at a distance from the land, they are
inconspicuous objects, as nothing but the head shows above water, and that
only at intervals. But when the vast surf which breaks in mountain waves
against the weather side of the Farallones with a force which would in
a single sweep dash to pieces the biggest Indiaman--when such a surf,
vehemently and with apparently irresistible might, lifts its tall
white head, and with a deadly roar lashes the rocks half-way to their
summit--then it is a magnificent sight to see a dozen or half a hundred
great sea-lions at play in the very midst and fiercest part of the boiling
surge, so completely masters of the situation that they allow themselves
to be carried within a foot or two of the rocks, and at the last and
imminent moment, with an adroit twist of their bodies, avoid the shock,
and, diving, re-appear beyond the breaker.

As I sat, fascinated with this weird spectacle of the sea-lions, which
seemed to me like an unhallowed prying into some hidden and monstrous
secret of nature, I could better realize the fantastic and brutal wildness
of life in the earlier geological ages, when monsters and chimeras dire
wallowed about our unripe planet, and brute force of muscles and lungs
ruled among the populous hordes of beasts which, fortunately for us,
have perished, leaving us only this great wild sea-beast as a faint
reminiscence of their existence. I wondered what Dante would have
thought--and what new horrors his gloomy imagination would have conjured,
could he have watched this thousand or two of sea-lions at their sports.

The small, sloping, pointed head of the creature gives it, to me, a
peculiarly horrible appearance. It seems to have no brain, and presents
an image of life with the least intelligence. It is in reality not without
wits, for one needs only to watch the two or three specimens in the great
tank at Woodward's Gardens, when they are getting fed, to see that they
instantly recognize their keeper, and understand his voice and motion.
But all their wit is applied to the basest uses. Greed for food is their
ruling passion, and the monstrous lightning-like lunges through the water,
the inarticulate shrieks of pleasure or of fury as he dashes after his
food or comes up without it, the wild, fierce eyes, the eager and brutal
vigor with which he snatches a morsel from a smaller fellow-creature, the
reliance on strength alone, and the abject and panic-struck submission
of the weaker to the stronger--all this shows him a brute of the lowest

Yet there is a wonderful snake-like grace in the lithe, swift motions of
the animal when he is in the surf. You forget the savage blood-shot
eyes, the receding forehead, the clumsy figure and awkward motion, as he
wriggles up the steep rocks, the moment you see him at his superb sport in
the breakers. It seemed to me that he was another creature. The eye looks
less baleful, and even joyous; every movement discloses conscious power;
the excitement of the sport sheds from him somewhat of the brutality which
re-appears the moment he lands or seeks his food.

So far as I could learn, the Farallon sea-lions are seldom disturbed by
men seeking profit from them. In the egging season one or two are shot to
supply oil to the lamps of the eggers; and occasionally one is caught
for exhibition on the main-land. How do they catch a sea-lion? Well, they
lasso him, and, odd as it sounds, it is the best and probably the only way
to capture this beast. An adroit Spaniard, to whom the lasso or reata
is like a fifth hand, or like the trunk to the elephant, steals up to a
sleeping congregation, fastens his eye on the biggest one of the lot, and,
biding his time, at the first motion of the animal, with unerring skill
flings his loose rawhide noose, and then holds on for dear life. It is the
weight of an ox and the vigor of half a dozen that he has tugging at the
other end of his rope, and if a score of men did not stand ready to help,
and if it were not possible to take a turn of the reata around a solid
rock, the seal would surely get away.

Moreover, they must handle the beast tenderly, for it is easily injured.
Its skin, softened by its life in the water, is quickly cut by the rope;
its bones are easily broken; and its huge frame, too rudely treated,
may be so hurt that the life dies out of it. As quickly as possible the
captured sea-lion is stuffed into a strong box or cage, and here, in a
cell too narrow to permit movement, it roars and yelps in helpless fury,
until it is transported to its tank. Wild and fierce as it is, it seems to
reconcile itself to the tank life very rapidly. If the narrow space of its
big bath-tub frets it, you do not perceive this, for hunger is its chief
passion, and with a moderately full stomach the animal does well in
captivity, of course with sufficient water.

The South Farallon is the only inhabited one of the group. The remainder
are smaller; mere rocky points sticking up out of the Pacific. The Middle
Farallon is a single rock, from fifty to sixty yards in diameter, and
twenty or thirty feet above the water. It lies two and a half miles
north-west by west from the light-house. The North Farallon consists, in
fact, of four pyramidal rocks, whose highest peak, in the centre of the
group, is one hundred and sixty feet high; the southern rock of the four
is twenty feet high. The four have a diameter of one hundred and sixty,
one hundred and eighty-five, one hundred and twenty-five, and thirty-five
yards respectively, and the most northern of the islets bears north 64°
west from the Farallon light, six and three-fifths miles distant.

All the islands are frequented by birds; but the largest, the South
Farallon, on which the light-house stands, is the favorite resort of these
creatures, who come here in astonishing numbers every summer to breed;
and it is to this island that the eggers resort at that season to obtain
supplies of sea-birds' eggs for the San Francisco market, where they have
a regular and large sale.

The birds which breed upon the Farallones are gulls, murres, shags, and
sea-parrots, the last a kind of penguin. The eggs of the shags and parrots
are not used, but the eggers destroy them to make more room for the other
birds. The gull begins to lay about the middle of May, and usually ten
days before the murre. The gull makes a rude nest of brush and sea-weed
upon the rocks; the murre does not take even this much trouble, but lays
its eggs in any convenient place on the bare rocks.

[Illustration: THE GULL'S NEST.]

The gull is soon through, but the murre continues to lay for about two
months. The egging season lasts, therefore, from the 10th or 20th of
May until the last of July. In this period the egg company which has for
eighteen years worked this field gathered in 1872 seventeen thousand nine
hundred and fifty-two dozen eggs, and in 1873 fifteen thousand two hundred
and three dozen. These brought last year in the market an average of
twenty-six cents per dozen. There has been, I was assured by the manager,
no sensible decrease in the number of the birds or the eggs during twenty

From fifteen to twenty men are employed during the egging season in
collecting and shipping the eggs. They live on the island during that time
in rude shanties near the usual landing-place. The work is not amusing,
for the birds seek out the least accessible places, and the men must
follow, climbing often where a goat would almost hesitate. But this is not
the worst. The gull sits on her nest, and resists the robber who comes for
her eggs, and he must take care not to get bitten. The murre remains until
her enemy is close upon her; then she rises with a scream which often
startles a thousand or two of birds, who whirl up into the air in a dense
mass, scattering filth and guano over the eggers.

Nor is this all. The gulls, whose season of breeding is soon past, are
extravagantly fond of murre eggs; and these rapacious birds follow the
egg-gatherers, hover over their heads, and no sooner is a murre's nest
uncovered than the bird swoops down, and the egger must be extremely
quick, or the gull will snatch the prize from under his nose. So greedy
and eager are the gulls that they sometimes even wound the eggers,
striking them with their beaks. But if the gull gets an egg, he flies up
with it, and, tossing it up, swallows what he can catch, letting the shell
and half its contents fall in a shower upon the luckless and disappointed
egger below.


Finally, so difficult is the ground that it is impossible to carry
baskets. The egger therefore stuffs the eggs into his shirt bosom until
he has as many as he can safely carry, then clambers over rocks and down
precipices until he comes to a place of deposit, where he puts them into
baskets, to be carried down to the shore, where there are houses for
receiving them. But so skillful and careful are the gatherers that but few
eggs are broken.

The gathering proceeds daily, when it has once begun, and the whole ground
is carefully cleared off, so that no stale eggs shall remain. Thus if a
portion of the ground has been neglected for a day or two, all the eggs
must be flung into the sea, so as to begin afresh. As the season advances,
the operations are somewhat contracted, leaving a part of the island
undisturbed for breeding; and the gathering of eggs is stopped entirely
about a month before the birds usually leave the island, so as to give
them all an opportunity to hatch out a brood.

[Illustration: CONTEST FOR THE EGGS.]

The murre is not good to eat. If undisturbed it lays two eggs only; when
robbed, it will keep on laying until it has produced six or even eight
eggs; and the manager of the islands told me that he had found as many as
eight eggs forming in a bird's ovaries when he killed and opened it in the
beginning of the season. The male bird regularly relieves the female on
the nest, and also watches to resist the attacks of the gull, which
not only destroys the eggs, but also eats the young. The murre feeds on
sea-grass and jelly-fish, and I was assured that though some hundreds had
been examined at different times, no fish had ever been found in a murre's

The bird is small, about the size of a half-grown duck, but its egg is
as large as a goose egg. The egg is brown or greenish, and speckled. When
quite fresh it has no fishy taste, but when two or three days old the
fishy taste becomes perceptible. They are largely used in San Francisco by
the restaurants and bakers, and for omelets, cakes, and custards.

During the height of the egging season the gulls hover in clouds over the
rocks, and when a rookery is started, and the poor birds leave their nests
by hundreds, the air is presently alive with gulls flying off with the
eggs, and the eggers are sometimes literally drenched.

There is thus inevitably a considerable waste of eggs. I asked some of the
eggers how many murres nested on the South Farallon, and they thought at
least one hundred thousand. I do not suppose this an extravagant estimate,
for, taking the season of 1872, when seventeen thousand nine hundred and
fifty-two dozen eggs were actually sold in San Francisco, and allowing
half a dozen to each murre, this would give nearly thirty-six thousand
birds; and adding the proper number for eggs broken, destroyed by gulls,
and not gathered, the number of murres and gulls is probably over one
hundred thousand. This on an island less than a mile in its greatest
diameter, and partly occupied by the light-house and fog-whistle and their
keepers, and by other birds and a large number of sea-lions!

When they are done laying, and when the young can fly, the birds leave the
island, usually going off together. During the summer and fall they return
in clouds at intervals, but stay only a few days at a time, though there
are generally a few to be found at all times; and I am told that eggs in
small quantities can be found in the fall.

The murre does not fly high, nor is it a very active bird, or apparently
of long flight. But the eggers say that when it leaves the island they do
not know whither it goes, and they assert that it is not abundant on the
neighboring coast. The young begin to fly when they are two weeks old, and
the parents usually take them immediately into the water.

The sea-parrot has a crest, and somewhat resembles a cockatoo. Its numbers
on the South Farallon are not great. It makes a nest in a hole in the
rocks, and bites if it is disturbed. The island was first used as a
sealing station; but this was not remunerative, there being but very few
fur seal, and no sea-otters. This animal, which abounds in Alaska, and
is found occasionally on the southern coast of California, frequents
the masses of kelp which line the shore; but there is no kelp about the

In the early times of California, when provisions were high-priced, the
egg-gatherers sometimes got great gains. Once, in 1853, a boat absent but
three days brought in one thousand dozen, and sold the whole cargo at a
dollar a dozen; and in one season thirty thousand dozen were gathered, and
brought an average of but little less than this price.

[Illustration: THE GREAT ROOKERY.]

Of course there was an egg war. The prize was too great not to be
struggled for; and the rage of the conflicting claimants grew to such
a pitch that guns were used and lives were threatened, and at last the
Government of the United States had to interfere to keep the peace. But
with lower prices the strife ceased; the present company bought out, I
believe, all adverse claims, and for the last fifteen or sixteen years
peace has reigned in this part of the county of San Francisco--for these
lonely islets are a part of the same county with the metropolis of the




In less than forty-eight hours after you leave San Francisco you find
yourself crossing the bar which lies at the mouth of the Columbia River,
and laughing, perhaps, over the oft-told local tale of how a captain,
new to this region, lying off and on with his vessel, and impatiently
signaling for a pilot, was temporarily comforted by a passenger, an old
Californian, who "wondered why Jim over there couldn't take her safe over
the bar."

"Do you think he knows the soundings well enough?" asked the anxious
skipper; and was answered,

"I don't know about that, captain; but he's been taking all sorts of
things 'straight' over the bar for about twenty years, to _my_ knowledge,
and I should think he might manage the brig."

The voyage from San Francisco is almost all the way in sight of land; and
as you skirt the mountainous coast of Oregon you see long stretches of
forest, miles of tall firs killed by forest fires, and rearing their bare
heads toward the sky like a vast assemblage of bean-poles--a barren view
which you owe to the noble red man, who, it is said, sets fire to these
great woods in order to produce for himself a good crop of blueberries.

When, some years ago, Walk-in-the-Water, or Red Cloud, or some other
Colorado chief, asserted in Washington the right of the Indian to hunt
buffalo, on the familiar ground that he _must_ live, a journalist given to
figures demolished the Indian position by demonstrating that a race which
insisted on living on buffalo meat required about sixteen thousand acres
of land per head for its subsistence, which is more than even we can
spare. One wonders, remembering these figures, how many millions of feet
of first-class lumber are sacrificed to provide an Indian rancheria in
Oregon with huckleberries.

On the second morning of your voyage you enter the Columbia River, and
stop, on the right bank, near the mouth, at a place famous in history and
romance, and fearfully disappointing to the actual view--Astoria. When
you have seen it, you will wish you had passed it by unseen. I do not
know precisely how it ought to have looked to have pleased my fancy, and
realized the dreams of my boyhood, when I read Bonneville's "Journal" and
Irving's "Astoria," and imagined Astoria to be the home of romance and of
picturesque trappers. Any thing less romantic than Astoria is to-day you
can scarcely imagine; and what is worse yet, your first view shows you
that the narrow, broken, irreclaimably rough strip of land never had space
for any thing picturesque or romantic.

Astoria, in truth, consists of a very narrow strip of hill-side, backed by
a hill so steep that they can shoot timber down it, and inclosed on every
side by dense forests, high, steep hills, and mud flats. It looks like
the rudest Western clearing you ever saw. Its brief streets are paved with
wood; its inhabitants wear their trowsers in their boots; if you step off
the pavement you go deep into the mud; and ten minutes' walk brings you
to the "forest primeval," which, picturesque as it may be in poetry, I
confess to be dreary and monotonous in the extreme in reality.

There are but few remains of the old trapper station--one somewhat large
house is the chief relic; but there is a saw-mill, which seems to make,
with all its buzz and fuzz, scarcely an appreciable impression upon the
belt of timber which so shuts in Astoria that I thought I had scarcely
room in it to draw a full breath; and over to the left they pointed out
to me the residence of a gentleman--a general, I think he was--who came
hither twenty-six years ago in some official position, and had after a
quarter of a century gained what looked to me from the steamer's deck like
a precarious ten-acre lot from the "forest primeval," about enough room to
bury himself and family in, with a probability that the firs would crowd
them into the Columbia River if the saw-mill should break down.

On the voyage up I said to an Oregonian, "You have a good timber country,
I hear?" and his reply seemed to me at the time extravagant. "Timber?" he
said; "timber--till you can't sleep." When I had spent a day and a half at
anchor abreast of Astoria, the words appeared less exaggerated. Wherever
you look you see only timber; tall firs, straight as an arrow, big as the
California redwoods, and dense as a Southern canebrake. On your right is
Oregon--its hill-sides a forest so dense that jungle would be as fit
a word for it as timber; on the left is Washington Territory, and its
hill-sides are as densely covered as those of the nearer shore. This
interminable, apparently impenetrable, thicket of firs exercised upon my
mind, I confess, a gloomy, depressing influence. The fresh lovely green
of the evergreen foliage, the wonderful arrowy straightness of the trees,
their picturesque attitude where they cover headlands and reach down
to the very water's edge, all did not make up to me for their dreary
continuity of shade.

Astoria, however, means to grow. It has already a large hotel, which the
timber has crowded down against the tide-washed flats; a saw-mill, which
is sawing away for dear life, because if it stopped the forest would
doubtless push it into the river, on whose brink it has courageously
effected a lodgment; some tan-yards, shops, and "groceries;" and if you
should wish to invest in real estate here, you can do so with the help of
a "guide," which is distributed on the steamer, and tells you of numerous
bargains in corner lots, etc.; for here, as in that part of the West which
lies much farther east, people live apparently only to speculate in real

An occasional flash of broad humor enlivens some of the land circulars and
advertisements. I found one on the hotel table headed "Homes," with the
following sample:

    221 ACRES,

    Four miles east of Silverton; frame house and a log house (can
    live in either); log barn; 20 acres in cultivation; 60 acres
    timber land; balance pasture land; well watered. We will sell
    this place for $1575. Will throw in a cook stove and all the
    household furniture, consisting of a frying-pan handle and
    a broomstick; also a cow and a yearling calf; also one bay
    heifer; also 8400 lbs. of hay, minus what the above-named
    stock have consumed during the winter; also 64 bushels of
    oats, subject to the above-mentioned diminution. If sold,
    we shall have left on our hands one of the driest and
    ugliest-looking old bachelors this side of the grave, which
    we will cheerfully throw in if at all acceptable to the
    purchaser. Old maids and rich widows are requested to give
    their particular attention to this special offer. Don't pass
    by on the other side.

           *       *       *       *       *


    Be it ever so humble, there's no place like Home!

    We still have a few more "Sweet Homes" for sale, consisting
    of, etc., etc., etc.

    [Illustration: pointing finger] Title perfect--a Warrantee
    Deed from the hub of the earth to the top of the skies, and
    Uncle Sam's Patent to back us!

A further-reaching title one could scarcely require.

I don't know where I got the belief that the Columbia was a second-rate
river. There must have been some blunder in the geographies out of which I
got my lessons and my notions of the North-west coast at school. Possibly,
too, the knowledge that navigation is interrupted by rapids at the
Cascades and Dalles contributed to form an impression conspicuously wrong.
In fact, the Columbia is one of the great rivers of the world. It seems to
me larger, as it is infinitely grander, than the Mississippi.

Between Astoria and the junction of the Willamette its breadth, its depth,
its rapid current, and the vast body of water it carries to sea reminded
me of descriptions I had read of the Amazon; and I suspect the Columbia
would rank with that stream were it not for the unlucky obstructions at
the Cascades and Dalles, which divide the stream into two unequal parts.


For ten miles above Astoria the river is so wide that it forms really a
vast bay. Then it narrows somewhat, and the channel approaches now one
and then the other of its bold, picturesque shores, which often for miles
resemble the Palisades of the Hudson in steepness, and exceed them in
height. But even after it becomes narrower the river frequently widens
into broad, open, lake-like expanses, which are studded with lovely
islands, and wherever the shore lowers you see, beyond, grand mountain
ranges snow-clad and amazingly fine.

The banks are precipitous nearly all the way to the junction of the
Willamette, and there is singularly little farming country on the
immediate river. Below Kalama there are few spots where there is even room
for a small farmstead. But along this part of the river are the "salmon
factories," whence come the Oregon salmon, which, put up in tin cans, are
now to be bought not only in our Eastern States, but all over the world.
The fish are caught in weirs, in gill nets, as shad are caught on the
Hudson, and this is the only part of the labor performed by white men. The
fishermen carry the salmon in boats to the factory--usually a large frame
building erected on piles over the water--and here they fall into the
hands of Chinese, who get for their labor a dollar a day and their food.

The salmon are flung up on a stage, where they lie in heaps of a thousand
at a time, a surprising sight to an Eastern person, for in such a pile
you may see many fish weighing from thirty to sixty pounds. The work
of preparing them for the cans is conducted with exact method and great
cleanliness, water being abundant. One Chinaman seizes a fish and cuts off
his head; the next slashes off the fins and disembowels the fish; it then
falls into a large vat, where the blood soaks out--a salmon bleeds like a
bull--and after soaking and repeated washing in different vats, it falls
at last into the hands of one of a gang of Chinese whose business it is,
with heavy knives, to chop the fish into chunks of suitable size for the
tins. These pieces are plunged into brine, and presently stuffed into the
cans, it being the object to fill each can as full as possible with fish,
the bone being excluded.

The top of the can, which has a small hole pierced in it, is then soldered
on, and five hundred tins set on a form are lowered into a huge kettle of
boiling water, where they remain until the heat has expelled all the air.
Then a Chinaman neatly drops a little solder over each pin-hole, and after
another boiling, the object of which is, I believe, to make sure that the
cans are hermetically sealed, the process is complete, and the salmon are
ready to take a journey longer and more remarkable even than that which
their progenitors took when, seized with the curious rage of spawning,
they ascended the Columbia, to deposit their eggs in its head waters, near
the centre of the continent.

I was assured by the fishermen that the salmon do not decrease in numbers
or in size, yet in this year, 1873, more than two millions of pounds were
put up in tin cans on the Lower Columbia alone, besides fifteen or twenty
thousand barrels of salted salmon.

From Astoria to Portland is a distance of one hundred and ten miles, and
as the current is strong, the steamer requires ten or twelve hours to make
the trip. As you approach the mouth of the Willamette you meet more
arable land, and the shores of this river are generally lower, and often
alluvial, like the Missouri and Mississippi bottoms; and here you find
cattle, sheep, orchards, and fields; and one who is familiar with the
agricultural parts of California notices here signs of a somewhat severer
climate, in more substantial houses; and the evidence of more protracted
rains, in green and luxuriant grasses at a season when the pastures of
California have already begun to turn brown.

Portland is a surprisingly well-built city, with so many large shops, so
many elegant dwellings, and other signs of prosperity, as will make you
credit the assertion of its inhabitants, that it contains more wealth in
proportion to its population than any other town in the United States.
It lies on the right bank of the Willamette, and is the centre of a
large commerce. Its inhabitants seemed to me to have a singular fancy
for plate-glass fronts in their shops and hotels, and even in the private
houses, which led me at first to suppose that there must be a glass
factory near at hand. It is all, I believe, imported.

From Portland, which you can see in a day, and whose most notable sight is
a fine view of Mount Hood, obtainable from the hills back of the city, the
sight-seer makes his excursions conveniently in various directions; and
as the American traveler is always in a hurry, it is perhaps well to show
what time is needed:

To the Dalles and Celilo, and return to Portland, three days.

To Victoria, Vancouver's Island, and return to Portland, including the
tour of Puget Sound, seven days.

To San Francisco, overland, by railroad to Roseburg, thence by stage to
Redding, and rail to San Francisco, seventy-nine hours.


Thus you may leave San Francisco by steamer for Portland, see the Dalles,
the Cascades, Puget Sound, Victoria, the Willamette Valley, and the
magnificent mountain scenery of Southern Oregon and Northern California,
and be back in San Francisco in less than three weeks, making abundant
allowance for possible though not probable detentions on the road. The
time absolutely needed for the tour is but seventeen days.

Of course he who "takes a run over to California" from, the East,
predetermined to be back in his office or shop within five or six weeks
from the day he left home, can not see the Columbia River and Puget Sound.
But travelers are beginning to discover that it is worth while to spend
some months on the Pacific coast; some day, I do not doubt, it will be
fashionable to go across the continent; and those whose circumstances
give them leisure should not leave the Pacific without seeing Oregon and
Washington Territory. In the few pages which follow, my aim is to smooth
the way for others by a very simple account of what I myself saw and


And first as to the Cascades and the Dalles of the Columbia. You leave
Portland for Dalles City in a steamboat at five o'clock in the morning.
The better way is to sleep on board this steamer, and thus avoid an
uncomfortably early awakening. Then when you do rise, at six or half past,
you will find yourself on the Columbia, and steaming directly at Mount
Hood, whose splendid snow-covered peak seems to bar your way but a short
distance ahead. It lies, in fact, a hundred miles off; and when you have
sailed some hours toward it the river makes a turn, which leaves the snowy
peak at one side, and presently hides it behind the steep bank.

The little steamer, very clean and comfortable, affords you an excellent
breakfast, and some amusement in the odd way in which she is managed. Most
of the river steamers here have their propelling wheel at the stern; they
have very powerful engines, which drive them ahead with surprising speed.
I have gone sixteen miles an hour in one, with the current; and when they
make a landing the pilot usually runs the boat's head slantingly against
the shore, and passengers and freight are taken in or landed over the
bow. At the wood-pile on the shore you may generally see one of the people
called "Pikes," whom you will recognize by a very broad-brimmed hat, a
frequent squirting of tobacco-juice, and the possession of two or three
hounds, whom they call hereabouts "hound-dogs," as we say "bull-dog." And
this reminds me that in Oregon the country people usually ask you if you
will eat an "egg-omelet;" and they speak of pork--a favorite food of the
Pike--as "hog-meat."

The voyage up the river presents a constant succession of wild and
picturesque scenery; immense rocky capes jut out into the broad stream;
for miles the banks are precipitous, like the Hudson River Palisades, only
often much higher, and for other miles the river has worn its channel out
of the rock, whose face looks bare and clean cut, as though it had been
of human workmanship. The first explorer of the Columbia, even if he was
a very commonplace mortal, must have passed days of the most singular
exhilaration, especially if he ascended the stream in that season when the
skies are bright and blue, for it seems to me one of the most magnificent
sights in the world. I am not certain that the wildness does not oppress
one a little after a while, and there are parts of the river where the
smoothly cut cliffs, coming precipitously down to the water's edge, and
following down, sheer down, to the river's bottom, make you think with
terror of the unhappy people who might here be drowned, with this cold
rock within their reach, yet not affording them even a momentary support.
I should like to have seen the rugged cliffs relieved here and there by
the softness of smooth lawns, and some evidences that man had conquered
even this rude and resisting nature.

But for a century or two to come the traveler will have to do without
this relief; nor need he grumble, for, with all its rugged grandeur, the
scenery has many exquisite bits where nature has a little softened its
aspect. Nor is it amiss to remember that but a little way back from the
river there are farms, orchards, cattle, and sheep. At one point the boat
for a moment turned her bow to the shore to admit a young man, who brought
with him a wonderful bouquet of wild flowers, which he had gathered at
his home a few miles back; and here and there, where the hill-sides have a
more moderate incline, you will see that some energetic pioneer has carved
himself out a farm.

Nevertheless it is with a sense of relief at the change that you at last
approach a large island, a flat space of ten or twelve hundred acres,
with fences and trees and grain fields and houses, and with a gentle and
peaceful aspect, doubly charming to you when you come upon it suddenly,
and fresh from the preceding and somewhat appalling grandeur. Here the
boat stops; for you are here at the lower end of the famous Cascades,
and you tranship yourself into cars which carry you to the upper end, a
distance of about six miles, where again you take boat for Dalles City.


The Cascades are rapids. The river, which has ever a swift and impetuous
current, is nearly two miles wide just above these rapids. Where the bed
shoals it also narrows, and the great body of water rushes over the rocks,
roaring, tumbling, foaming--a tolerably wild sight. There is nowhere any
sudden descent sufficient to make a water-fall; but there is a fall of a
good many feet in the six miles of cascades.

These rapids are considered impassable, though I believe the Indians used
sometimes to venture down them in canoes; and it was my good fortune to
shoot down them in a little steamer--the _Shoshone_--the third only, I was
told, which had ever ventured this passage. The singular history of this
steamboat shows the vast extent of the inland navigation made possible
by the Columbia and its tributaries. She was built in 1866 on the Snake
River, at a point ninety miles from Boise City, in Idaho Territory, and
was employed in the upper waters of the Snake, running to near the mouth
of the Bruneau, within one hundred and twenty-five miles of the head of
Salt Lake.

When the mining excitement in that region subsided there ceased to be
business for her, and her owner determined to bring her to Portland. She
passed several rapids on the Snake, and at a low stage of water was run
over the Dalles. Then she had to wait nearly a year until high water on
the Cascades, and finally passed those rapids, and carried her owner, Mr.
Ainsworth, who was also for this passage of the Cascades her pilot, and
myself safely into Portland.

We steamed from Dalles City about three o'clock on an afternoon so windy
as to make the Columbia very rough. When we arrived at the head of the
Cascades we found the shore lined with people to watch our passage through
the rapids. As we swept into the foaming and roaring waters the engine was
slowed a little, and for a few minutes the pilots had their hands full;
for the fierce currents, sweeping her now to one side and then to the
other, made the steering extraordinarily difficult. At one point there
seemed a probability that we should be swept on to the rocks; and it was
very curious to stand, as General Sprague and I, the only passengers, did,
in front of the pilot-house, and watch the boat's head swing against the
helm and toward the rocks, until at last, after half a minute of suspense,
she began slowly to swing back, obedient to her pilot's wish.

We made six miles in eleven minutes, which is at the rate of more than
thirty miles per hour, a better rate of speed than steamboats commonly
attain. Of course it is impossible to drive a vessel up the Cascades, and
a steamboat which has once passed these rapids remains forever below.

At the upper end of the Cascades a boat awaits you, which carries you
through yet more picturesque scenery to Dalles City, where you spend the
night. This is a small place, remarkable to the traveler chiefly for the
geological collection which every traveler ought to see, belonging to
the Rev. Mr. Condon, a very intelligent and enthusiastic geologist,
the Presbyterian minister of the place. You have also at Dalles City a
magnificent view of Mount Hood, and Mr. Condon will tell you that he has
seen this old crater emit smoke since he has lived here.

There is no doubt that both Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens have still
internal fires, though both their craters are now filled up with ashes.
There is reason to believe that at its last period of activity Mount Hood
emitted only ashes; for there are still found traces of volcanic ashes,
attributable, I am told, to this mountain, as far as one hundred miles
from its summit. Of Mount St. Helens it is probable that its slumbering
fires are not very deeply buried. A few years ago two adventurous citizens
of Washington Territory were obliged, by a sudden fog and cold storm, to
spend a night near its summit, and seeking for some cave among the lava
where to shelter themselves from the storm, found a fissure from which
came so glowing and immoderate a heat that they could not bear its
vicinity, and, as they related, were alternately frozen and scorched all
night--now roasting at the volcanic fire, and again rushing out to cool
themselves in the sleet and snow.

[Illustration: THE DUKE OF YORK. QUEEN VICTORIA. Puget Sound Chiefs.]

The rocks are volcanic from near the mouth of the Willamette to and above
the Dalles, and geologists suppose that there have been great convulsions
of nature hereabouts in recent geological times. The Indians have
a tradition, indeed, that the river was originally navigable and
unobstructed where now are the Cascades, and that formerly there was a
long, natural tunnel, through which the Columbia passed under a mountain.
They assert that a great earthquake broke down this tunnel, the site
of which they still point out, and that the debris formed the present
obstructions at the Cascades.

Oregon, if one may judge by the fossil remains in Mr. Condon's collection,
seems once to have been inhabited by a great number and variety of
pre-adamite beasts; but the most singular object he has to show is a very
striking ape's head, carved with great spirit and vigor out of hard lava.
This object was found upon the shore of the Columbia by Indians, after
a flood which had washed away a piece of old alluvial bank. The rock of
which it is composed is quite hard; the carving is, as I said, done with
remarkable vigor; and the top of the head is hollowed out, precisely as
the Indians still make shallow depressions in figures and heads which
they carve out of slate, in which to burn what answers in their religious
ceremonies for incense.

But supposing this relic to belong to Oregon--and there is, I was told,
no reason to believe otherwise--where did the Indian who carved it get his
idea of an ape? The Indians of this region, poor creatures that they are,
have still the habit of carving rude figures out of slate and other
soft rocks. They have also the habit of cutting out shallow, dish-like
depressions in the heads of such figures, wherein to burn incense. But
they could not give Mr. Condon any account of the ape's head they brought
him, nor did they recognize its features as resembling any object or
creature familiar to them even by tradition.

The Dalles of the Columbia are simply a succession of falls and rapids,
not reaching over as great a distance as the Cascades, but containing one
feature much more remarkable than any thing which the Cascades afford, and
indeed, so far as I know, found nowhere else.

The Columbia above the Dalles is still a first-class river, comparable
in depth and width, and in the volume of its water, only with the Lower
Mississippi or the Amazon. It is a deep, rapidly-flowing stream, nearly a
mile wide. But at one point in the Dalles the channel narrows until it is,
at the ordinary height of the river, not over a hundred yards wide; and
through this narrow gorge the whole volume of the river rushes for some
distance. Of course water is not subject to compression; the volume of the
river is not diminished; what happens, as you perceive when you see this
singular freak of nature, is that the river is suddenly turned up on its
edge. Suppose it is, above the Dalles, a mile wide and fifty feet deep;
at the narrow gorge it is but a hundred yards wide--how deep must it be?
Certainly it can be correctly said that the stream is turned up on its

The Dalles lie five or six miles above Dalles City; and you pass these
rapids in the train which bears you to Celilo early the next morning
after you arrive at Dalles City. Celilo is not a town; it is simply
a geographical point; it is the spot where, if you were bound to the
interior of the continent by water, you would take steamboat. There is
here a very long shed to shelter the goods which are sent up into this
far-away and, to us Eastern people, unknown interior; there is a wharf
where land the boats when they return from a journey of perhaps a thousand
miles on the Upper Columbia or the Snake; there are two or three laborers'
shanties--and that is all there is of Celilo; and your journey thither
has been made only that you may see the Dalles, and Cape Horn, as a bold
promontory on the river is called.

What I advise you to do is to take a hearty lunch with you, and, if you
can find one, a guide, and get off the early Celilo train at the Dalles.
You will have a most delightful day among very curious scenery; will
see the Indians spearing salmon in the pools over which they build their
stages; and can examine at leisure the curious rapids called the Dalles.
A party of three or four persons could indeed spend several days very
pleasantly picnicking about the Dalles, and in the season they would shoot
hare and birds enough to supply them with meat. The weather in this part
of Oregon, east of the Cascade range, is as settled as that of California,
so that there is no risk in sleeping-out-of-doors in summer.

There is a singularly sudden climatic change between Western and Eastern
Oregon; and if you ask the captain or pilot on the boat which plies
between the Cascades and Dalles City, he can show you the mountain range
on one side of which the climate is wet, while on the other side it is
dry. The Cascade range is a continuation northward of the Sierra Nevada;
and here, as farther south, it stops the water-laden winds which rush up
from the sea. Western Oregon, lying between the Cascades and the ocean,
has so much rain that its people are called "Web-feet;" Eastern Oregon, a
vast grazing region, has comparatively little rain. Western Oregon, except
in the Willamette and Rogue River valleys, is densely timbered; Eastern
Oregon is a country of boundless plains, where they irrigate their few
crops, and depend mainly on stock-grazing. This region is as yet sparsely
settled; and when we in the East think of Oregon, or read of it even, it
is of that part of the huge State which lies west of the Cascades, and
where alone agriculture is carried on to a considerable extent.

You will spend a day in returning from the Dalles to Portland, and
arriving there in the evening can set out the next morning for Olympia,
on Puget Sound, by way of Kalama, which is the Columbia River terminus
for the present of the Northern Pacific Railroad. It is possible to go
by steamer from Portland to Victoria, and then return down Puget Sound to
Olympia; but to most people the sea-voyage is not enticing, and there are
but slight inconveniences in the short land journey. The steamer leaving
Portland at six A.M. lands you at Kalama about eleven; there you get
dinner, and proceed about two by rail to Olympia. It is a good plan to
telegraph for accommodations on the pretty and comfortable steamer _North
Pacific_, and go directly to her on your arrival at Olympia.

Puget Sound is one of the most picturesque and remarkable sheets of water
in the world; and the voyage from Olympia to Victoria, which shows you the
greater part of the Sound, is a delightful and novel excursion, specially
to be recommended to people who like to go to sea without getting
sea-sick; for these land-encircled waters are almost always smooth.

When, at Kalama, you enter Washington Territory, your ears begin to be
assailed by the most barbarous names imaginable. On your way to Olympia
by rail you cross a river called the Skookum-Chuck; your train stops at
places named Newaukum, Tumwater, and Toutle; and if you seek further, you
will hear of whole counties labeled Wahkiakum, or Snohomish, or Kitsap, or
Klikatat; and Cowlitz, Hookium, and Nenolelops greet and offend you. They
complain in Olympia that Washington Territory gets but little immigration;
but what wonder? What man, having the whole American continent to chose
from, would willingly date his letters from the county of Snohomish, or
bring up his children in the city of Nenolelops? The village of Tumwater
is, as I am ready to bear witness, very pretty indeed; but surely an
emigrant would think twice before he established himself either there or
at Toutle. Seattle is sufficiently barbarous; Steilacoom is no better; and
I suspect that the Northern Pacific Railroad terminus has been fixed at
Tacoma--if it is fixed there--because that is one of the few places
on Puget Sound whose name does not inspire horror and disgust.


Olympia, which lies on an arm of Puget Sound, and was once a town of
great expectations, surprises the traveler by its streets, all shaded with
magnificent maples. The founder of the town was a man of taste; and he
set a fashion which, being followed for a few years in this country of
abundant rains, has given Olympia's streets shade trees by the hundred
which would make it famous were it an Eastern place.

Unluckily, it has little else to charm the traveler, though it is the
capital of the Territory; and when you have spent half an hour walking
through the streets you will be quite ready to have the steamer set off
for Victoria. The voyage lasts but about thirty-six hours, and would be
shorter were it not that the steamer makes numerous landings. Thus you
get glimpses of Seattle, Steilacoom, Tacoma, and of the so-called saw-mill
ports--Port Madison, Port Gamble, Port Ludlow, and Port Townsend--the
last named being also the boundary of our Uncle Samuel's dominions for
the present, and the port of entry for this district, with a custom-house
which looks like a barn, and a collector and inspectors, the latter of
whom examine your trunk as you return from Victoria to save you from the
sin of smuggling.

From Port Townsend your boat strikes across the straits of San Juan de
Fuca to Victoria; and just here, as you are crossing from American
to English territory, you get the most magnificent views of the grand
Olympian range of mountains and of Mount Regnier. Also, the captain will
point out to you in the distance that famous island of San Juan which
formed the subject or object, or both, of our celebrated boundary dispute
with great Britain, and you will wonder how small an object can nearly
make nations go to war, and for what a petty thing we set several kings
and great lords to studying geography and treaties and international law,
and boring themselves, and filling enterprising newspapers with dozens
of columns of dull history; and you will wonder the more at the stupid
pertinacity of these English in clinging to the little island of San Juan
when you reach Victoria, and see that we shall presently take that dull
little town too, not because we want it or need it, but to save it from
perishing of inanition.

It is something to have taste and a sense of the beautiful. Certainly the
English, who discovered the little landlocked harbor of Victoria and chose
it as the site of a town, displayed both. It is by natural advantages one
of the loveliest places I ever saw, and I wonder, remote as it is, that
it is not famous. The narrow harbor, which is not so big as one of the
big Liverpool docks, is surrounded on both sides by the prettiest little
miniature bays, rock-bound, with grassy knolls, and here and there shady
clumps of evergreens; a river opening out above the town into a kind of
lake, and spanned by pretty bridges, invites you to a boating excursion;
and the fresh green of the lawn-like expanses of grass which reach into
the bay from different directions, the rocky little promontories with
boats moored near them, the fine snow-covered mountains in the distance,
and the pleasantly winding roads leading in different directions into the
country, all make up a landscape whose soft and gay aspect I suppose is
the more delightful because one comes to it from the somewhat oppressive
grandeur of the fir forests in Washington Territory.

In the harbor of Victoria the most conspicuous object is the long range of
warehouses belonging to the Hudson Bay Company, with their little trading
steamers moored alongside. These vessels bear the signs of traffic with a
savage people in the high boarding nettings which guard them from stem to
stern, and which are in their more solid parts pierced for musketry. Here,
too, you see a queer little old steamboat, the first that ever vexed
the waters of the Pacific Ocean with its paddle-wheels. And as your own
steamer hauls up to the wharf, you will notice, arrayed to receive you,
what is no doubt the most shocking and complete collection of ugly women
in the world.

These are the Indians of this region. They are very light-colored;
their complexion has an artificial look; there is something ghastly and
unnatural in the yellow of the faces, penetrated by a rose or carmine
color on the cheeks. They are hideous in all the possible aspects and
varieties of hideousness--undersized, squat, evil-eyed, pug-nosed, tawdry
in dress, ungraceful in every motion; they really mar the landscape, so
that you are glad to escape from them to your hotel, which you find a
clean and comfortable building, where, if you are as fortunate as the
traveler who relates this, you may by-and-by catch a glimpse or two of
a fresh, fair, girlish English face, which will make up to you for the
precedent ugliness.

Victoria hopes to have its dullness enlivened by a railroad from the
mainland one of these days, which may make it more prosperous, but will
probably destroy some of the charm it now has for a tourist. It can hardly
destroy the excellent roads by which you may take several picturesque
drives and walks in the neighborhood of the town, nor the pretty views you
have from the hills near by, nor the excursions by boat, in which you can
best see how much Nature has done to beautify this place, and how little
man has done so far to mar her work.

Silks and cigars are said to be very cheap in Victoria; and those who
consume these articles will probably look through the shops and make a
few purchases, not enough to satisfy, though sufficient to arouse the
suspicions of the Collector of Customs at Port Townsend. If you use your
time well, the thirty-six hours which the steamer spends at Victoria will
suffice you to see all that is of interest there to a traveler, and you
can return in her down the Sound, and make more permanent your impressions
of its scenery.

You will perhaps be startled, if you chance to overhear the conversation
of your fellow-passengers, to gather that it concerns itself chiefly with
millions, and these millions run to such extraordinary figures that you
may hear one man pitying another for the confession that he made no more
than a hundred millions last year. It is feet of lumber they are speaking
of; and when you see the monstrous piles of sawdust which encumber the
mill ports, the vast quantities of waste stuff they burn, and the huge
rafts of timber which are towed down to the mills, as well as the
ships which lie there to load for South America, Tahiti, Australia, and
California, you will not longer wonder that they talk of millions.

Some of these mills are owned by very wealthy companies, who have had the
good fortune to buy at low rates large tracts of the best timber lands
lying along the rivers and bays. A saw-mill is the centre of quite a
town--and a very rough town too, to judge from the appearance of the men
who come down to the dock to look at the steamer, and the repute of the
Indian women who go from port to port and seem at home among the mill men.

Having gone by sea to Oregon, I should advise you to return to California
overland. The journey lies by rail through the fertile Willamette Valley,
for the present the chief agricultural country of Oregon, to Roseburg, and
thence by stage over and through some of the most picturesque and grand
scenery in America, into California. If you are curious in bizarre social
experiments, you may very well stop a day at Aurora, thirty miles below
Portland, and look at some of the finest orchards in the State, the
property of a strange German community which has lived in harmony and
acquired wealth at this point.

Salem, too, the capital of Oregon, lying on the railroad fifty miles below
Portland, is worth a visit, to show you how rich a valley the Willamette
is. And as you go down by stage toward California you will enjoy a long
day's drive through the Rogue River Valley, a long, narrow, winding series
of nooks, remote, among high mountains, looking for all the world as
though in past ages a great river had swept through here, and left in its
dry bed a fertile soil, and space enough for a great number of happy and
comfortable homes.

May and June are the best months in which to see Oregon and Puget Sound.
With San Francisco as a starting-point, one may go either to Portland or
to Victoria direct. If you go first to Victoria, you save a return journey
across Puget Sound, and from Olympia to Kalama, but you miss the sail up
the Columbia from Astoria to Portland. The following table of fares will
show you the cost of traveling in the region I have described:

                                                   Time.    Fare.
From San Francisco to Portland...................  3 days  $30 00
From San Francisco to Victoria...................  3  "     30 00
From Portland to Celilo..........................  1 day     7 00
Excursion tickets, good from Portland to Celilo and
back.............................................  3 days   10 00
From Portland by Olympia to Victoria.............  3  "     12 25
From Portland to San Francisco by railroad and
stage............................................ 79 hours  42 00

Meals on these journeys are extra, and cost from half a dollar to
seventy-five cents. They are generally good. All these rates are in
coin. On the steamer from San Francisco to Portland or Victoria meals are
included in the fare.

When you are once in Portland, a vast region opens itself to you, if you
are an adventurous tourist. You may take boat at Celilo, above the Dalles,
and steam up to Wallula, where you take stage for Elkton, a station on
the Pacific Railroad, in Utah; this journey shows you the heart of the
continent, and is said to abound in magnificent scenery. I have not made
it, but it is frequently done. If you have not courage for so long an
overland trip, a journey up to the mouth of Snake River and back to
Portland, which consumes but a week, will give you an intelligent idea of
the vastness of the country drained by the main body of the great Columbia

The great plains and table-lands which lie east of the Cascades, and are
drained by the Columbia, the Snake, and their affluents, will some day
contain a vast population. Already enterprising pioneers are pushing into
the remotest valleys of this region. As you sail up the Columbia, you will
hear of wheat, barley, sheep, stock, wool, orchards, and rapidly growing
settlements, where, to our Eastern belief, the beaver still builds his
dams, unvexed even by the traps and rifle of the hunter.





    [I am indebted to Mr. William T. Brigham, of Boston, the
    translator of the following "Contributions of a venerable Savage,"
    and the author of a valuable treatise on the volcanoes of the
    Sandwich Islands, as well as of several memoirs on the natural
    history of the Islands, for his kind permission to use this very
    curious fragment, with his additions, in my volume. The original
    I have not been able to lay my hands on. It gives a picturesque
    account of the Hawaiian people before they came into relations
    with foreigners. It should be remembered by the reader that
    Mr. Remy is a Frenchman, and that his relations with the Roman
    Catholic missionaries somewhat colored his views of the labors of
    the American missionaries on the Islands.

    The "contributions" in this translation of Mr. Brigham were
    privately printed by him some years ago, and the following note
    by him explains their origin. It will be seen that Mr. Brigham
    translated the Mele, or chant of Kawelo, from the original.]

One evening, in the month of March, 1853, I landed at Hoopuloa, on the
western shore of Hawaii. Among the many natives collected on the beach
to bid me welcome and draw my canoe up over the sand, I noticed an old
man of average size, remarkably developed chest, and whose hairs,
apparently once flaxen, were hoary with age. The countenance of this
old man, at once savage and attractive, was furrowed across the
forehead with deep and regular wrinkles. His only garment was a shirt
of striped calico.

A sort of veneration with which his countrymen seemed to me to regard him
only increased the desire I at first felt to become acquainted with
the old islander. I was soon told that his name was Kanuha, that he
was already a lad when Alapai[1] died (about 1752), that he had known
Kalaniopuu, Cook, and Kamehameha the Great. When I learned his name
and extraordinary age, I turned toward Kanuha, extending my hand. This
attention flattered him, and disposed him favorably toward me. So I
resolved to take advantage of this lucky encounter to obtain from an
eye-witness an insight into Hawaiian customs before the arrival of

A hut of pandanus had been prepared for me upon the lava by the care of
a missionary. I made the old man enter, and invited him to partake of my
repast of poi,[2] cocoa-nut, raw fish, and roast dog. While eating the poi
with full fingers, Kanuha assured me that he had lived under King Alapai,
and had been his runner, as well as the courier of Kalaniopuu, his
successor. So great had been Kanuha's strength in his youth that, at the
command of his chiefs, he had in a single day accomplished the distance
from Hoopuloa to Hilo, more than forty French leagues. When Cook died, in
1779, the little children of Kanuha's children had been born. When I spoke
of Alapai to my old savage, he told me that _it seemed to him a matter of
yesterday_; of Cook, _it was a thing of to-day_.

From these facts it may be believed that Kanuha was not less than one
hundred and sixteen years old when I met him on this occasion. This
remarkable example of longevity was by no means unique at the Hawaiian
Islands a few years since. Father Maréchal knew at Ka'u, in 1844, an
aged woman who remembered perfectly having seen Alapai. I had occasion to
converse at Kauai with an islander who was already a grandfather when he
saw Captain Cook die. I sketched, at this very Hoopuloa, the portrait of
an old woman, still vigorous, Meawahine, who told any who would hear her
that her breasts were completely developed when her chief gave her as wife
to the celebrated English navigator.

Old Kanuha was the senior of all these centenaries. I took advantage of
his willing disposition to draw from him the historical treasures with
which his memory was stored. Here, in my own order, is what he told me
during a night of conversation, interrupted only by the Hawaiian dances
(_hulahula_), and by some pipes of tobacco smoked in turn, in the custom
of the country.


The soil was the property of the king, who reserved one part of it for
himself, assigning another to the nobles, and left the rest to the first
occupant. Property, based on a possession more or less ancient, was
transmitted by heritage; but the king could always dispose, according to
his whims, of property of chiefs and subjects, and the chiefs had the same
privilege over the people.

Taxes were not assessed on any basis. The king levied them whenever it
seemed good to him, and almost always in an arbitrary way. The chiefs
also, and the priests, received a tribute from the people. The tax was
always in kind, and consisted of:

Kalo, raw and made into poi; Potatoes (_Convolvulus batatas_, L.) many
varieties; Bananas (_maia_) of different kinds; Cocoa-nuts (called _niu_
by the natives); Dogs (destined for food);[3] Hogs; Fowls; Fish, crabs,
cuttle-fish, shell-fish; Kukui nuts (_Aleurites moluccana_) for making
relishes, and for illumination; Edible sea-weed (_limu_); Edible ferns
(several species, among others the _hapuu_); Awa (_Piper methysticum_,
Forst.); Ki roots (_Cordyline ti_, Schott.), a very saccharine vegetable;
Feathers of the _Oo_ (_Drepanis pacifica_), and of the _Iiwi_ (_Drepanis
coccinea_): these birds were taken with the glue of the _ulu_ or
bread-fruit (_Artocarpus incisa_); Fabrics of beaten bark (_kapa_)
and fibre of the _olona_ (_Boehmeria_), of _wauke_ (_Broussonetia
papyrifera_), of _hau_ (_Hilasens tiliasens_), etc.; Mats of Pandanus and
of Scirpus; Pili (grass to thatch houses with); Canoes (_waa_); Wood for
building; Calabashes (serving for food vessels, and to hold water); Wooden
dishes; Arms and instruments of war, etc., etc.

A labor tax was also enforced, and it was perhaps the most onerous,
because it returned almost regularly every moon for a certain number of
days. The work was principally cultivating the _loi_, or fields of kalo,
which belonged to the king or chiefs.

The Hawaiian people were divided into three very distinct classes; these

1. The nobility (_Alii_), comprising the king and the chiefs of whatever

2. The clergy (_Kahuna_), comprising the priests, doctors, prophets, and

3. Citizens (_Makaainana_), comprising laborers, farmers, proletaries, and


The chiefs or nobles were of several orders. The highest chief bore the
title of _Moi_, which may best be rendered by the word majesty. In a
remote period of Hawaiian history, this title was synonymous with _Ka
lani_, heaven. This expression occurs frequently in ancient poems: _Auhea
oe, e ka lani? Eia ae_. This mode of address is very poetic, and quite
pleasing to the chiefs.

The Moi was still called _kapu_ and _aliinui_. To tread on his shadow
was a crime punished with death: _He make ke ee malu_. The chief next the
throne took the title of _Wohi_. He who ranked next, that of _Mahana_.
These titles could belong at the same time to several chiefs of the
blood-royal, who were called _Alii kapu, Alii wohi_. The ordinary nobility
furnished the king's aids-de-camp, called _Hulumanu_ (plumed officers).

By the side of the nobility were the _Kahu alii_, literally guardians of
the chiefs, of noble origin by the younger branch, but who dared not claim
the title of chief in the presence of their elders. The Kahu alii of the
male sex might be considered born chamberlains; of the female, ladies of
the bed-chamber.

There were five kinds of Kahu alii, which are: Iwikuamoo, Ipukuha,
Paakahili, Kiaipoo, Aipuupuu.

These titles constituted as many hereditary charges reserved for the
lesser nobility. The functions of the Iwikuamoo (backbone of the chief)
were to rub his lord on the back, when stretched on his mat. The Ipukuha
had charge of the royal spittoons. The Paakahili carried a very long plume
(_kahili_), which he waved, around the royal person to drive away the
flies and gnats. The duties of this officer were continual and most
fatiguing, for he must constantly remain near the person of his master,
armed with his kahili, whether the king was seated or reclining, eating
or sleeping. The Kiaipoo's special charge was to watch at the side of his
august chief during sleep. The Aipuupuu was the chief cook, and, besides,
performed functions similar to those of steward or purveyor.

There were, besides, other inferior chiefs, as the _Puuku_, attendants of
the house or palace; _Malama ukana_, charged with the care of provisions
in traveling; _Aialo_, who had the privilege of eating in the presence of
the chief; and, at the present day, the _Muki baka_, who had the honor of
lighting the king's pipe and carrying his tobacco-pouch.

Although the people considered these last four orders as belonging to the
nobility, it seems that they were of lower rank than the citizens favored
by the chiefs.

Finally, the king had always in his service the _Hula_, who, like the
buffoon or jester of the French kings, must amuse his majesty by mimicry
or dancing. The _Kahu alii_, or _Kaukaualii_, as they are now styled,
are attendants or followers of the high chiefs by right of birth. They
accompany their masters everywhere, almost in the same manner that
a governess follows her pupil.[4] From the throne down nobility was
hereditary. The right of primogeniture was recognized as natural law.
Nobility transmitted through the mother was considered far superior to
that on the father's side only, even if he were the highest of chiefs.
This usage was founded on the following proverb: _Maopopo ka makuahine,
aole maopopo ka makuakane_ (It is always evident who the mother is, but
one is never sure about the father). Agreeably to this principle, the
high chiefs, when they could not find wives of a sufficiently illustrious
origin, might espouse their sisters and their nieces, or, in default of
either of these, their own mother. Nevertheless, history furnishes us
several examples of kings who were not noble on the maternal side.[5]


The priests formed three orders:

1. The _Kahuna_ proper. 2. The _Kaula_, or prophets. 3. The _Kilo_,
diviners or magicians.

The priesthood, properly so called (_Kahuna maoli, Kahuna pule_), was
hereditary. The priests received their titles from their fathers, and
transmitted them to their offspring, male and female, for the Hawaiians
had priestesses as well. The priest was the peer of the nobility; he had
a portion of land in all the estates of the chiefs, and sometimes acquired
such power as to be formidable to the alii. In religious ceremonies, the
priests were clothed with absolute power, and selected the victims for the
sacrifices. This privilege gave them an immense and dangerous influence in
private life, whence the Hawaiian proverb: The priest's man is inviolable,
the chief's man is the prey of death, _Aole e make ko ke kahuna kanaka, o
ko ke 'lii kanaka ke make_.

The kahuna, being clothed with supreme power in the exercise of his
functions, alone could designate the victim suitable to appease the anger
of the gods. The people feared him much for this prerogative, which gave
the power of life and death over all, and the result was that the priest
had constantly at his service an innumerable crowd of men and women wholly
devoted to him. It was not proper for him to choose victims from a people
who paid him every imaginable attention. But among the servants of the
alii, if there were any who had offended the priest or his partisans,
nothing more was necessary to condemn to death such or such an attendant
of even the highest chief. From this it may be seen how dangerous it was
not to enjoy the good graces of the kahuna, who, by his numerous clan,
might revolutionize the whole country. History affords us an example
in the Kahuna Kaleihokuu of Laupahoehoe, who had in his service so
considerable a body of retainers that he was able in a day, by a single
act of his will, to put to death the great chief Hakau, of Waipio, and
substitute in his place Umi, the bastard son (_poolua_) of King Liloa,
who had, however, been adopted by Kaleihokuu. Another example of this
remarkable power is seen in the Kahuna of Ka'u, who massacred the high
chief Kohookalani, in the neighborhood of Ninole, tumbling down upon him a
huge tree from the top of the _pali_ (precipice) of Hilea.

The _Kahuna_, especially those of the race of Paao, were the natural
depositaries of history, and took the revered title of _Mo'olelo_, or
historians. Some individuals of this stock still exist, and they are all
esteemed by the natives, and regarded as the chiefs of the historical
and priestly caste. The sacerdotal order had its origin in Paao, whose
descendants have always been regarded as the _Kahuna maoli_.[6] Paao
came from a distant land called Kahiki. According to several chiefs, his
genealogy must be more correct than that of the kings. Common tradition
declares that Paao came from foreign countries, landing on the north-west
shore of Hawaii (Kohala), at Puuepa, in the place where, to this day, are
seen the ruins of the Heiau (temple) of Mokini, the most ancient of all
the temples, and which he is said to have built. The advent of Paao and
his erection of this heiau are so ancient, according to the old men, that
Night helped the priest raise the temple: _Na ka po i kukulu ae la Mokini,
a na Paao nae_. These sayings, in the native tongue, indicate the high
antiquity of Paao.[7]

To build the temple of Mokini, which also served as a city of refuge, Paao
had stones brought from all sides, even from Pololu, a village situated
four or five leagues from Mokini or Puuepa. The Kanakas formed a chain the
whole length of the route, and passed the stones from one to another--an
easy thing in those times--from the immense population of the

Paao has always been considered as the first of the Kahuna. For this
reason his descendants, independently of the fact that they are regarded
as _Mookahuna_, that is, of the priesthood, are more like nobles in the
eye of the people, and are respected by the chiefs themselves. There are,
in the neighborhood of Mokini, stones which are considered petrifactions
of the canoe, paddles, and fish-hooks of Paao.

At Pololu, toward the mountain, are found fields of a very beautiful
verdure. They are called the pastures, or grass-plots, of Paao (_Na mauu a
Paao_). The old priest cultivated these fields himself, where no one since
his time has dared to use spade or mattock. If an islander was impious
enough to cultivate the meadow of Paao, the people believe that a terrible
punishment would be the inevitable consequence of that profanation.
Disastrous rains, furious torrents, would surely ravage the neighboring

Some Hawaiians pretend that there exists another sacerdotal race besides
that of Paao, more ancient even than that, and whose priests belonged at
the same time to a race of chiefs. It is the family of Maui, probably
of Maui-hope, the last of the seven children of Hina,[8] the same who
captured the sea-monster Piimoe. The origin of this race, to which Naihe
of Kohala pretends to belong, is fabulous. Since the reign of Kamehameha,
the priests of the order of Maui have lost favor.

The second class of the clergy was composed of the prophets (_Kaula_),
an inoffensive and very respectable people, who gave vent to their
inspiration from time to time in unexpected and uncalled-for prophesies.
The third order of the clergy is that of _Kilo_, diviners or magicians.
With these may be classed the _Kilokilo_, the _Kahunalapaau_ and
_Kahunaanaana_, a sort of doctors regarded as sorcerers, to whom was
attributed the power of putting to death by sorcery and witchcraft.[9] The
Kahunaanaana and the Kahunalapaau have never been considered as belonging
to the high caste of Kahuna maoli.

The Kahunaanaana, or sorcerers, inherited their functions. They were
thoroughly detested, and the people feared them, and do to this day. When
the chiefs were dissatisfied with a sorcerer, they had his head cut off
with a stone axe (_koipohaku_), or cast him from the top of a pali.

The doctors were of two kinds. The first, the Kahunalapaau proper,
comprised all who used plants in the treatment of disease. Just as the
sorcerers understood poisonous vegetables, so the doctors knew the simples
which furnished remedies to work cures. The second kind comprised the
spiritual doctors, who had various names, and who seem to have been
intermediate between priests and magicians, sharing at once in the
attributes of both. They were:

_Kahuna uhane_, the doctors of ghosts and spirits;

_Kahuna makani_, doctors of winds;

_Kahuna hoonohonoho akua_, who caused the gods to descend on the sick;

_Kahuna aumakua_, doctors of diseases of the old;

_Kahuna Pele_, doctors or priests of Pele, goddess of volcanoes.

All the doctors of the second kind are still found in the islands,[10]
where they have remained idolaters, although they have been for the most
part baptized. There is hardly a Kanaka who has not had recourse to them
in his complaints, preferring their cures and their remedies to those
of the foreign physicians. Laws have been enacted to prohibit these
charlatans from exercising their art; but under the rule of Kamehameha
III., who protected them, these laws have not been enforced.


The class of _Makaainana_ comprises all the inhabitants not included in
the two preceding classes; that is to say, the bulk of the people.

There were two degrees of this cast: the _kanaka wale_, freemen, private
citizens, and the _kauwa_ or servants. The Hawaiian saying, _O luna, o
lalo, kai, o uka a o ka hao pae, ko ke 'lii_ (All above, all below, the
sea, the land, and iron cast upon the shore, all belong to the king),
exactly defines the third class of the nation, called makaainana, the
class that possesses nothing, and has no right save that of sustenance.

The Hawaiians honored canoe-builders and great fishers as privileged
citizens. The chiefs themselves granted them some consideration; but it
must be confessed that the honorable position they occupied in society was
due to their skill in their calling rather than to any thing else. These
builders were generally deeply in debt. They ate in advance the price of
their labor, which usually consisted of hogs and fowls, and they died of
starvation before the leaves ceased to sprout on the tree their adze had
transformed into a canoe.

The _kauwa_, servants, must not be confounded with the _kauwa maoli_,
actual slaves. A high chief, even a wohi, would call himself without
dishonor _ke kauwa a ke 'lii nui_, the servant of the king. At present,
their excellencies the ministers and the nobles do not hesitate to sign
their names under the formula _kou kauwa_, your servant; but it is none
the less true, for all that, that formerly there were among the common
people a class, few in number, of slaves, or serfs, greatly despised by
the Hawaiians, and still to our days so lowered in public opinion that a
simple peasant refuses to associate with the descendants of this caste.

They point the finger at people of kauwa extraction, lampoon them, and
touch the soles of their feet when they speak of them, to mark the lowness
of their origin. If they were independent, and even rich, an ordinary
islander would deem himself disgraced to marry his daughter to one of
these pariahs.

The slaves were not permitted to cross the threshold of the chiefs'
palace. They could do no more than crawl on hands and knees to the door.
In spite of the many changes infused into Hawaiian institutions, the kauwa
families remain branded with a stigma, in the opinion of the natives, and
the laws, which accord them the same rights as other citizens, can not
reinstate them.

It seems certain that the origin of slavery among the Hawaiians must
be sought in conquests. The vanquished, who were made prisoners, became
slaves, and their posterity inherited their condition.

From time immemorial the islanders have clothed themselves, the men with
the _malo_, the women with the _pau_. The malo is bound around the loins,
after having passed between the legs, to cover the pudenda. The pau is a
short skirt, made of bark cloth or of the ki leaves, which reaches from
the waist half down to the knees. The old popular songs show clearly that
this costume has always been worn by the natives. To go naked was regarded
as a sign of madness, or as a mark of divine birth. Sometimes the kings
were attended by a man sprung from the gods, and this happy mortal alone
had the right to follow, _puris naturalibus_, his august master. The
people said, in speaking of him, _He akua ia_, he is a god.

_Kapa_, a kind of large sheet in which the chiefs dressed themselves, was
made of the soaked and beaten bark of several shrubs, such as the wauke,
olona, hau, oloa. Fine varieties were even made of the kukui (_Aleurites
moluccana_). In ancient times it was an offense punishable with death for
a common man to wear a double kapa or malo.

The Hawaiians have never worn shoes. In certain districts where lava is
very abundant, they make sandals (_kamaa_) with the leaves of the ki and
pandanus. They always go bare-headed, except in battle, where they like
to exhibit themselves adorned with a sort of helmet made of twigs and

The women never wear any thing but flowers on their heads. Tattooing was
known, but less practiced than at the Marquesas, and much more rudely.

The Hawaiians are not cannibals. They have been upbraided in Europe as
eaters of human flesh, but such is not the case. They have never killed a
man for food. It is true that in sacrifices they eat certain parts of the
victim, but there it was a religious rite, not an act of cannibalism. So,
also, when they ate the flesh of their dearest chiefs, it was to do honor
to their memory by a mark of love: they never eat the flesh of bad chiefs.

The Hawaiians do not deny that the entrails of Captain Cook were eaten;
but they insist that it was done by children, who mistook them for the
viscera of a hog, an error easily explained when it is known that the body
had been opened and stripped of as much flesh as possible, to be burned
to ashes, as was due the body of a god. The officers of the distinguished
navigator demanded his bones, but as they were destroyed,[B] those of a
Kanaka were surrendered in their stead, receiving on board the ships of
the expedition the honors intended for the unfortunate commander.

The condition of the women among the ancient Hawaiians was like that of
servants well treated by their masters. The chiefesses alone enjoyed equal
rights with men. It is a convincing proof that women were regarded as
inferior to men, that they could in no case eat with their husbands, and
that the kapu was often put upon their eating the most delicious food.
Thus bananas were prohibited on pain of death. Their principal occupations
consisted in making kapa, the malo and pau, and in preparing food.

Marriage was performed by cohabitation with the consent of the relations.
Polygamy was only practiced by the chiefs. Children were very independent,
and although their parents respected them so much as seldom to dare lay
hands on them, they were quite ready to part with them to oblige a friend
who evinced a desire for them. Often an infant was promised before birth.
This singular custom still exists, but is much less frequent.

They had little regard for old men who had become useless, and even killed
them to get them out of the way. It was allowable to suffocate infants to
avoid the trouble of bringing them up. Women bestowed their affection upon
dogs and pigs, and suckled them equally with their children. Fleas, lice,
and grasshoppers were eaten, but flies inspired an unconquerable horror;
if one fell into a calabash of poi, the whole was thrown away.[11]

The Hawaiians practiced a sort of circumcision, differing from that of
the Jews, but having the same sanitary object. This operation _(mahele)_
consisted in slitting the prepuce by means of a bamboo. The mahele has
fallen into disuse, but is still practiced in some places, unbeknown to
the missionaries, upon children eight or ten years old. A sort of priest
(kahuna) performs the operation.[12]

The Hawaiian women are always delivered without pain, except in very
exceptional cases. The first time they had occasion to witness, in the
persons of the missionaries' wives, the painful childbirths of the white
race, they could not restrain their bursts of laughter, supposing it to
be mere custom, and not pain, that could thus draw cries from the wives of
the Haole (foreigners).

The ancient Hawaiians cared for their dead. They wrapped them in kapa
with fragrant herbs, such as the flowers of the sugar-cane, which had the
property of embalming them. They buried in their houses, or carried
their bodies to grottoes dug in the solid rock. More frequently they were
deposited in natural caves, a kind of catacombs, where the corpses were
preserved without putrefaction, drying like mummies. It was a sacred duty
to furnish food to the dead for several weeks. Sometimes the remains were
thrown into the boiling lava of the volcanoes, and this mode of sepulture
was regarded as homage paid to the goddess Pele, who fed principally on
human flesh.


Liloa reigned over the island of Hawaii. In the course of one of his
journeys through the province of Hamakua, he met a woman of the people
named Akahikameainoa, who pleased him, and whose favors he claimed as
supreme chief.

Akahikameainoa was then in her menses, so that the malo of the king was
soiled with the discharge. Liloa said to the woman: "If you bring into the
world a man-child, it shall belong to me; if a girl, it shall be yours.
I leave with you as tokens of my sovereign will my _niho palaoa_ (whale's
tooth), and my _lei_. Conceal these things from all eyes; they will one
day be a souvenir of our relation, a proof of the paternity of the child
who shall be born from our loves."

That would, indeed, be an unexceptionable testimony, for by the law of
kapu a wife could not, under pain of death, approach her husband while in
her courses. The soiled malo and the time of the child's birth would give
certain indications.

Akahikameainoa carefully concealed the royal tokens of her adultery,
saying nothing to any one, not even to her husband. The spot where she
hid them is known to this day as _Huna na niho_, the hiding place of the

Liloa then held his court at Waipio in all the splendor of the time.
Besides a considerable troop of servants, he had in attendance priests
(kahuna), prophets (kaula), nobles, and his only son, Hakau. The palace
was made merry night and day by the licentious motions of the dancers, and
by the music of the resounding calabashes.

Nine moons after her meeting with the king, Akahikameainoa gave birth to
a man-child, which she called Umi, and brought up under the roof of her
husband, who believed himself the father. The child developed rapidly,
became strong, and acquired a royal stature. In his social games, in the
sports of youth, he always bore away the palm. He was, moreover, a great
eater: _Hao wale i ka ai a me ka ia_.[13] In a word, Umi was a perfect
Kanaka, and a skillful fighter, who made his comrades suffer for it.
At this time he conceived a strong affection for two peasants of the
neighborhood, Koi of Kukui-haole and Omakamau, who became his _aikane_.

One day his supposed father, angry at his conduct, was about to punish
him: "Strike him not," exclaimed Akahikameainoa, "he is your lord and
chief! Do not imagine that he is the son of us two: he is the child of
Liloa, your king." Umi was then about fifteen or sixteen years old.

His mother, after this declaration, startling as a thunder-bolt, went and
uncovered the tokens Liloa had left as proof, and placed them before her
husband, who was motionless with fear at the thought of the high treason
he had been on the point of committing.

In the mean time, Liloa had grown old, and Akahikameainoa, deeming the
moment had arrived, invested Umi with the royal malo, the niho palaoa, and
the lei, emblems of power, which high chiefs alone had the right to wear.
"Go," said she to him then; "go, my son, present yourself at Waipio to
King Liloa, your father. Tell him you are his child, and show him, in
proof of your words, these tokens which he left with me."

Umi, proud enough of the revelation of his mother, at once departs,
accompanied by Koi and Omakamau.

The palace of Liloa was surrounded by guards, priests, diviners, and
sorcerers. The kapu extended to the edge of the outer inclosure, and no
one might pass on penalty of death. Umi advanced boldly and crossed the
threshold. Exclamations and cries of death sounded in his ears from all
sides. Without troubling himself, he passed on and entered the end door.
Liloa was asleep, wrapped in his royal mantle of red and yellow feathers.
Umi stooped, and, without ceremony, uncovered his head. Liloa, awakening,
said, "_Owai la keia_?--Who is this?" "It is I," replied the youth; "it is
I, Umi, your son." So saying, he displays his malo at the king's feet.
At this token Liloa, while rubbing his eyes, recognized Umi, and had him
proclaimed his son. Behold, then, Umi admitted to the rank of high chief,
if not the equal of Hakau, his eldest son, at least his prime minister by
birth--his lieutenant.

The two brothers lived at court on an equal footing. They took part in the
same amusements, wrestling, drawing the bow, plunged with eagerness into
all the noble exercises of the country and the time. The people of Umi's
suite matched themselves with those of Hakau in the combat with the long
lance _(pololu)_, and the party of Umi was always victorious, compelling
Hakau to retire in confusion.

Liloa, perceiving that his last hour was drawing near, called his two
children to him, and said to them, "You, Hakau, will be chief, and you,
Umi, will be his man." This last expression is equivalent to viceroy or
prime minister. The two brothers bowed, in token of assent, and the
old chief continued: "Do you, Hakau, respect your man; and do you, Umi,
respect your sovereign. If you, Hakau, have no consideration for your
man, if you quarrel with him, I am not disturbed at the results of your
conduct. In the same way, Umi, unless you render your sovereign the homage
you owe him, if you rebel against him, it will be for you two to decide
your lot." Soon after, having made known his last wishes, Liloa gave up
the ghost.

Umi, who was of a proud and independent character, foreseeing, no doubt,
even then, the wicked conduct of his brother, would not submit to him,
and refused to appear in his presence. Giving up his share of power,
he departed from Waipio with his two _aikane_, and retired into the
mountains, where he gave himself up to bird-catching.

Hakau then reigned alone, and ruled according to his fancy. Abusing his
authority, he made himself feared, but, at the same time, detested by his
people. He brought upon himself the censure of the chief attendants of his
father, whom he provoked by all sorts of humiliations and insults. If he
saw any one of either sex remarkable for good looks, he had them tattooed
in a frightful manner for his good pleasure.

Meanwhile Umi, who had a taste for savage life, had taken leave of his
favorites, and wandered alone in the midst of the forests and mountains.
One day, when he descended to the shore at Laupahoehoe, in the district
of Hilo, he fell in love with a woman of the people, and made her his
companion without arousing a suspicion of his high birth. Devoting
himself, then, to field labor, he was seen sometimes cultivating the
ground, and sometimes going down to the sea to fish.

By generous offerings, he knew how to skillfully flatter an old man named
Kaleihokuu, an influential priest, who at last adopted him as one of his
children. Umi always kept at the head of the farmers and fishermen, and
a considerable number, recognizing his physical superiority, voluntarily
enrolled themselves under his orders and those of his foster-father;
he was only known by the name of Hanai (foster-child) of Kaleihokuu.
Meditating probably, even then, a way of acquiring supreme power, Umi
exerted himself to gain the sympathies of the people, in whose labors he
took an incredible part. There are seen to this day, above Laupahoehoe,
the fields which Umi cultivated, and near the sea can be seen the heiau,
or temple, in which Kaleihokuu offered sacrifices to the gods.

Hakau continued to reign, always without showing the least respect to the
old officers of Liloa, his father. Two old men, high chiefs by birth, and
highly honored under the preceding reign, had persisted in residing near
the palace at Waipio, in spite of the insults to which the nearness of the
court exposed them. One day when they were hungry, after a long scarcity
of food, they said to one of their attendants: "Go to the palace of Hakau.
Tell his Majesty that the two old chiefs are hungry, and demand of him, in
our name, food, fish, and awa."[14] The attendant went at once to the king
to fulfill his mission. Hakau replied with foul and insulting terms: "Go
tell the two old men that they shall have neither food, fish, nor awa!"
The two chiefs, on hearing this cruel reply, commenced to deplore their
lot, and regret more bitterly than ever the time they lived under Liloa.
Then rousing themselves, they said to their attendant, "We have heard of
the foster-son of Kaleihokuu, of his activity, courage, and generosity.
Lose no time; go directly to Laupahoehoe, and tell Kaleihokuu that two
chiefs desire to see his adopted son." The servant went with all speed
to Laupahoehoe, where he delivered his master's message. Kaleihokuu told,
him, "Return to your masters, tell them that they will be welcome, if
they will come to-morrow to see my foster-son." The old men, at this news,
hastened to depart. Arrived at the abode of Kaleihokuu, they found no one,
except a man asleep on the mat. They entered, nevertheless, and sat down,
leaning their backs against the walls of the pandanus house. "At last,"
said they, sighing, "our bones are going to revive, _akahi a ola na iwi_."
Then, addressing the slumbering man, "Are you, then, alone here?"--" Yes,"
replied the young man; "Kaleihokuu is in the fields."--"We are," added
they, "the two old men of Waipio, come expressly to see the priest's

The young man rises without saying a word, prepares an abundant repast--an
entire hog, fish, and awa. The two old men admired the activity and skill
of the youth, and said to themselves, "At all events, if the foster-son
of Kaleihokuu were as vigorous a stripling as this, we should renew our
life!" The young unknown served them food, and made them drunk with awa,
and, according to the usage of those times,[16] gave up to them the women
of Kaleihokuu, that his hospitality might be complete.

The next morning the old men saw Kaleihokuu, and said to him, "Here we
have come to become acquainted with your foster-son. May it please the
gods that he be like that fine young fellow who entertained us at your
house! Our bones would revive."--"Ah, indeed," replied Kaleihokuu; "he who
has so well received you is my _keiki hanai_. I left him at the house on
purpose to perform for you the duties of hospitality." The two old men,
rejoiced at what they learned, told the priest and his adopted son the ill
treatment they had received at the court of Hakau. No more was needed to
kindle a war at once.

At the head of a considerable troop of people attached to the service of
Kaleihokuu, Umi went by forced marches to Waipio, and the next day Hakau
had ceased to reign. He had been slain by the very hand of the vigorous
foster-son of the priest.


Umi ruled in place of Hakau. His two aikane, Koi and Omakamau, had joined
him, and resided at his court. Piimaiwaa of Hilo was his most valiant
warrior. _Ia ia ka mama kakaua_--to him belonged the bâton of war, a
figurative expression denoting the general-in-chief. Pakaa was one of the
favorites of Umi, and Lono was his kahuna.

While Umi reigned over the eastern shores of the island, one of his
cousins, Keliiokaloa, ruled the western coast, and held his court at
Kailua. It was under the reign of this prince, about two centuries before
the voyage of Captain Cook, that a ship was wrecked near Keei, in the
district of Kona, not far from the place where the celebrated English
navigator met his death in 1779. It was about 1570[C] that men of the
white race first landed in the archipelago. One man and one woman escaped
from the wreck, and reached land near Kealakeakua. Coming to the shore,
these unfortunates prostrated themselves on the lava, with their faces to
the earth, whence comes the name Kulou, a _bowing down_, which the place
which witnessed this scene still bears. The shipwrecked persons soon
conformed to the customs of the natives, who pretend that there exists to
our day a family of chiefs descended from these two whites. The Princess
Lohea, daughter of Liliha,[16] still living, is considered of this origin.
Keliiokaloa, who reigned over the coast where this memorable event took
place, was a wicked prince, who delighted in wantonly felling cocoa-nut
trees and laying waste cultivated lands. His ravages induced Umi to
declare war against him.

He took the field at the head of his army, accompanied by his famous
warrior, Piimaiwaa; his friends, Koi and Omakamau; his favorite, Pakaa;
and Lono, his Kahuna. He turned the flanks of Mauna Kea, and advancing
between this mountain and Hualalai, in the direction of Mauna Loa, arrived
at the great central plateau of the island, intending to make a descent
upon Kailua. Keliiokaloa did not wait for him. Placing himself at the head
of his warriors, he marched to meet Umi. The two armies met on the high
plain bounded by the colossi of Hawaii, at the place which is called _Ahua
a Umi_.

Two men of the slave race, called Laepuni, famous warriors of Keliiokaloa,
fought with a superhuman courage, and Umi was about to fall under their
blows, when Piimaiwaa, coming to his rescue, caused the victory to incline
to his side. Although history is silent, it is probable that the king of
Kailua perished in the battle.

This victory completely rid Umi of his last rival; he reigned henceforth
as sole ruler of Hawaii; and to transmit to posterity the remembrance of
this remarkable battle, he caused to be erected on the battle-field, by
the people of the six provinces, Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Kona, Ka'u, and
Puna, a singular monument, composed of six polyhedral piles of ancient
lava collected in the vicinity. A seventh pyramid was raised by his nobles
and officers. In the centre of these enormous piles of stone he built
a temple, whose remains are still sufficiently perfect to enable one to
restore the entire plan. The whole of this vast monument is called, after
the name of its builder, the Heaps of Umi--_Ahua Umi_.

Umi built another temple at the foot of Pohaku Hanalei, on the coast of
Kona, called _Ahua Hanalei_. A third temple was also erected by him on
the flank of Mauna Kea, in the direction of Hilo, at the place called
Puukeekee. Traces of a temple built by the same king may also be
recognized at Mauna Halepohaha, where are found the ruins of Umi's houses
covered with a large block of lava.[17]

They give Umi the name of King of the Mountains. Tradition declares that
he retired to the centre of the island, through love for his people, and
these are the reasons which explain the seclusion to which he devoted
himself. It was a received custom in Hawaiian antiquity that the numerous
attendants of the chiefs, when traversing a plantation, should break
down the cocoa-nuts, lay waste the fields, and commit all sorts of havoc
prejudicial to the interests of proprietors or cultivators. To avoid a
sort of scourge which followed the royal steps, Umi made his abode in the
mountains, in order that the robberies of his attendants might no longer
cause the tears of the people to flow. In his retreat Umi lived, with his
retainers, upon the tribute in kind which his subjects brought him from
all parts of the coast. In time of famine, his servants went through the
forest and collected the _hapuu_, a nourishing fern which then took the
place of poi.

Umi, however, did not spend all his time in the mountains. He came to
live at various times on the sea-shore at Kailua. He employed everywhere
workmen to cut stones, to serve, some say, in the construction of a
sepulchral cave; according to others, to build a magnificent palace.
Whatever may have been their destination, the stones were admirably
hewn.[18] In our days the Calvinistic missionaries have used them in the
erection of the great church of Kailua, without any need of cutting them
anew. There are still seen, scattered in various places, the hewn stones
of King Umi, _na pohaku kulai a Umi_. It is natural to suppose that they
used to hew these hard, and very large stones with other tools than those
of Hawaiian origin. Iron must have been known in the time of Umi, and its
presence is explained by the wrecks of ships which ocean currents may have
drifted ashore. It is certain that they were acquainted with iron long
before the arrival of Cook, as is proved by the already cited passage from
an old romance: _O luna, o lalo, kai, o uka, a o ka hao pae, ko ke'lii_.

Umi, some time before his death, said to his old friend Koi: "There is
no place, nor is there any possible way to conceal my bones. You must
disappear from my presence. I am going to take back all the lands which
I have given you around Hawaii, and they will think you in disgrace. You
will then withdraw to another island, and as soon as you hear of my death,
or only that I am dangerously sick, return secretly to take away my body."

Koi executed the wishes of the chief, his _aikane_. He repaired to
Molokai, whence he hastened to set sail for Hawaii as soon as he heard of
Umi's death. He landed at Honokohau. On setting foot on shore, he met a
Kanaka, in all respects like his dearly-loved chief. He seized him, killed
him, and carried his body by night to Kailua. Koi entered secretly the
palace where the corpse of Umi was lying. The guards were asleep, and Koi
carried away the royal remains, leaving in their place the body of the old
man of Honokohau, and then disappeared with his canoe. Some say that he
deposited the body of Umi in the great pali of Kahulaana, but no one knows
the exact spot; others say that it was in a cave at Waipio, at Puaahuku,
at the top of the great pali over which the cascade of Hiilawe falls.

From time immemorial it was the custom at Hawaii to eat the flesh of
great chiefs after death, then the bones were collected in a bundle, and
concealed far out of the way. Generally it was to a faithful attendant, a
devoted _kahu_, that the honor of eating the flesh of his chief belonged
by a sentiment of friendship, _no ke aloha_. If they did not always eat
the flesh of high chiefs and distinguished personages, they always took
away their dead bodies, to bury them in the most secret caves, or in most
inaccessible places. But the same care was not taken with chiefs who had
been regarded as wicked during their lives. The proverb says of this:
_Aole e nalo ana na iwi o ke 'lii kolohe; e nalo loa na iwi o ke 'lii
maikai_--The bones of a bad chief do not disappear; those of a good chief
are veiled from the eyes of all the world.

The high chiefs, before death, made their most trusty attendants swear to
conceal their bones so that no one could discover them. "I do not wish,"
said the dying chief, "that my bones should be made into arrows to
shoot mice, or into fish-hooks." So it is very difficult to find the
burial-place of such or such a chief. Mausoleums have been built in some
places, and it is said that here are interred the nobles and kings; but
it would seem that there are only empty coffins, or the bodies of common
natives substituted for those of the personages in whose honor these
monuments have been raised.


Whatever the historian, David Malo, may say, it is very doubtful whether
there were several chiefs of the name of Keawe. It is probable that there
was only one high chief of this name, that he was the son of Umi, and was
called Keawe the Great--_Keawe nui_ _a Umi_. David Malo was interested, as
the natives know, in swelling the genealogy of the alii, and he wished to
flatter both nobility and people by distinguishing Keawe nui, of the race
of Umi, from another Keawe. There are two Keawe, as seven Maui, and nine
Hina. It is not, indeed, so long a period from Umi to the present era,
that we can not unveil the truth from the clouds which surround, it.

The people, in general, only speak of one Keawe, who inherited the power
of his father Umi. He was supreme ruler in the island of Hawaii, and is
even said to have united, as Kamehameha has since done, all the group
under his sceptre. Kamehameha conquered the islands by force of arms;
Keawe had conquered them by his travels and alliances. While he passed
through the islands of Maui, Molokai, and Oahu, he contracted marriages
everywhere, as well with the women of the people as with the highest
chiefesses. These unions gave him children who made him beloved of all
the high chiefs of that time. He was regarded at Maui and Oahu as supreme
king. The king of Kauai even went so far as to send messengers to declare
to him that he recognized his sovereignty. Such is the origin of Keawe's

By his numerous marriages with chiefesses and common women without
distinction, this king has made the Hawaiian nobility, the present alii
say, bastard and dishonored. The chiefs descended from Keawe conceal their
origin, and are by no means flattered when reminded of it. From Keawe
down, the genealogies become a focus of disputes, and it would be really
dangerous for the rash historian who did not spare the susceptibilities of
chiefs on this subject.

The principle on which those who condemn the conduct of Keawe rests is the
purity of the blood of the royal stock, required by ancient usages, whose
aim was to preserve the true nobility without alloy. Disdaining this rule,
Keawe contracted numerous marriages, which gave him as mothers of his
children women of low birth. The posterity of this chief, noble without
doubt, but of impure origin, likes not to have its lame genealogy
recalled. It is with the sensitiveness of the Hawaiians on this subject,
as with many other things in this world: they attack bitterly the amours
of Keawe, and seem to forget that Umi, their great chief, whose memory
they preserve with so much care, was of plebeian blood by his mother.

It seems certain that King Keawe usually resided at the bay of Hoonaunau,
in Kona. The heiau of Hoonaunau, where may still be seen the stakes of
ohia (_Metrosideros_) planted by Keawe, is called _Hale a Keawe_--The
house built by Keawe. It served also as a City of Refuge.[19]


The people of Ka'u are designated in the group under the name of _Na Mamo
a ke kipi_--The descendants of the rebellion. The province of Ka'u has
always been regarded as a land fatal to chiefs. At the present day
an inhabitant of Ka'u can be distinguished among other natives. He is
energetic, haughty in speech, and always ready to strike a blow when
occasion presents. He is proud, and worships his liberty. Several Hawaiian
chiefs have been killed by the people of Ka'u, among others Kohaokalani,
Koihala, etc.


He was, according to tradition, the most important chief on the island,
and reigned in royal state at Hilea. He it was who built the heiau
situated on the great plain of Makanau. The sea worn pebbles may still be
seen, which Kohaokalani had his people carry up on to the height, about
two leagues from the shore. These pebbles were intended for the interior
pavement of the temple. The people, worn out by the great difficulty of
transportation, tired of the yoke of royalty, and incited by disloyal
priests, began to let their discontent and discouragement show itself. A
conspiracy was soon formed by these two classes leagued against the chief,
and a religious ceremony offered an occasion to rid themselves of the

The temple was completed, and it only remained to carry a god up there.
This divinity was nothing but an ohia-tree of enormous size, which had
been cut down in the forest above Ninole. At the appointed day the chief
priests and people set to work to draw the god to his residence. In order
to reach the height of Makanau there was a very steep pali to be ascended.
They had to carry up the god on the side toward Ninole, which was all the
better for the execution of their premeditated plan. Arrived at the base
of the precipice, all pulled at the rope; but the god, either by the
contrivance of the priests, or owing to the obstacles which the roughness
of the rock presented, ascended only with great difficulty. "The god
will never come to the top of the pali," said the Kahuna, "if the chief
continues to walk before him; the god should go first by right of power,
and the chief below, following, to push the lower end; otherwise we shall
never overcome his resistance." The high chief, Kohaokalani, complied with
the advice of the priests, placed himself beneath the god, and pushed
the end from below. Instantly priests and people let go the cord, and the
enormous god, rolling upon the chief, crushed him at once. The death of
Kohaokalani is attributed chiefly to the Kahuna.


Koihala reigned at Ka'u. He was a very great chief--perhaps the entire
island recognized his authority. An abuse of power hastened his death.
He had commanded the people of Ka'u to bring him food upon the plain of
Punaluu, at the place known under the name of Puuonuhe. A party of men set
out with pounded kalo (_paiai_, differing from poi in not being diluted),
bound up in leaves of ki, called _la'i_ (a contraction for _lau-ki_). When
they arrived at the top of the plateau, which is very elevated, they found
that the chief had set out for Kaalikii, two leagues from Puuonuhe, and
that he had left orders for them to bring him the provisions in this
distant place. The bearers hastened toward Kaalikii. As soon as they
came there, orders were given for them to proceed to Waioahukini, half
a league's walk in the same direction, and beneath the great pali of
Malilele, on the shore. They went on. Arrived at Waioahukini, they were
ordered to go and join the chief at Kalae. There they had to climb again
the great pali, and two leagues more to go. When they reached the cape of
Kalae, the most southern point of the Hawaiian group, they were sent to
seek the chief at the village of Mahana; but he had left for Paihaa, a
village near Kaalualu, a little bay where the native vessels now anchor.
There, at last, they must find the tyrant. Exasperated, dying of hunger,
indignant at the cruel way in which the chief made sport of their pains,
the bearers sat down on the grass and took counsel. First they decided to
eat up the food, without leaving any thing for the chief who entertained
himself so strangely in fatiguing his people _(hooluhi howa_). They
moreover determined to carry to him, instead of kalo, bundles of stones.
The trial of Koihala is ended, his insupportable yoke is about to fall.

The determined conspirators, after satisfying their hunger, set off, and
soon arrived, with humble mien, in the presence of the chief, between
Paihau and Kaalualu. "Prince," said they, "here are your servants with
provisions." They humbly laid at his feet their bundles wrapped in la'i.
The wrappers were opened, and the scene changes. These people, apparently
half dead, became in an instant like furious lions, ready to devour their
prey. They armed themselves with stones, and showered them upon Koihala
and his company, who perished together.

Two other high chiefs of the island were exterminated by the same people.
One was killed at Kalae, beaten to death by the paddles of fishermen; the
other was stoned at Aukukano.

These revolts against the chiefs have given birth, to several proverbial
expressions, applied to the district of Ka'u. Thus it is called _Aina
makaha_--Land of torrents: a nation which removes and shatters every
thing like a torrent; _Ka'u makaha_--Ka'u the torrent; _Ka lua kupapau
o na'lii_--The sepulchre of the high chiefs; _Aina kipi_--The rebellious


He was a chief of the olden time.

On the sea-shore, between Kaalikii and Pohue, the waves were ingulfed
beneath the land, and shot into the air by a natural aperture some fifty
feet from the shore. The water leaped to a prodigious height, disappeared
in the form of fine rain, and fell in vapor over a circuit of two leagues,
spreading sterility over the land to such an extent that neither kalo nor
sweet-potatoes could be grown there. The chief Kaleikini closed the mouth
of the gulf by means of enormous stones, which he made the natives roll
thither. It is plainly seen that this blow-hole has been closed by human
hands. There still remains a little opening through which the water hisses
to the height of thirty or forty feet.

Kaleikini closed at Kohala, on the shore of Nailima, a volcanic mouth like
that of Ka'u.

On the heights of Honokane, he silenced the thunders of a water-fall by
changing its course. At Maui Hikina, he secured the foundations of the
hill of Puuiki, which the great tides had rendered unstable. To do this,
he put into the caverns of Puuiki a huge rock, which stopped the tumults
of the sea, and put an end to the trembling of the hill.

For these feats of strength, and many others like them, Kaleikini was
called _Kupua_--Wizard.[D]


According to common tradition, the district of Puna was, until two
centuries ago, a magnificent country, possessing a sandy soil, it is true,
but one very favorable to vegetation, and with smooth and even roads. The
Hawaiians of our day hold a tradition from their ancestors, that their
great-grandparents beheld the advent of the volcanic floods in Puna. Here,
in brief, is the tradition as it is preserved by the natives:


This high chief reigned in Puna. He journeyed to the island of Oahu. There
he a prophet of Kauai, named Kaneakalau, who asked him who he was. "I am,"
replied the chief, "Keliikuku of Puna." The prophet then asked him what
sort of a country he possessed. The chief said: "My country is charming;
every thing is found there in abundance; everywhere are sandy plains which
produce marvelously."--"Alas!" replied the prophet, "go, return to your
beautiful country; you will find it overthrown, abominable. Pele has made
of it a heap of ruins; the trees of the mountains have descended toward
the sea; the ohia and pandanus are on the shore. Your country is no longer
habitable." The chief made answer; "Prophet of evil, if what you now tell
me is true, you shall live; but if, when I return to my country, I prove
the falsity of your predictions, I will come back on purpose, and you
shall die by my hand."

Unable, in spite of his incredulity, to forget this terrible prophecy,
Keliikuku set sail for Hawaii. He reached Hamakua, and, landing, traveled,
home by short stages. From the heights of Hilo, at the village of
Makahanaloa, he beheld in the distance all his province overwhelmed in
chaotic ruin, a prey to fire and smoke. In despair, the unfortunate
chief hung himself on the very spot where he first discovered this sad

This tradition of the meeting of Keliikuku and Kaneakalau is still
sometimes chanted by the Kanakas. It was reduced to metre, and sung by the
ancients. It is passing away in our day, and in a few years no trace of it
will remain.

Whether the prediction was made or not, the fact is that Puna has been
ravaged by volcanic action.


The high chief Hua, being in Maui, said to Uluhoomoe, his kahuna, that
he wished for some _uau_ from the mountains (a large bird peculiar to
the island of Hawaii). Uluhoomoe replied that there were no uau in the
mountains--that all the birds had gone to the sea. Hua, getting angry,
said to his priest: "If I send my men to the mountains, and they find any
uau there, I will put you to death."

After this menace, the chief ordered his servants to go to bird-hunting.
They obeyed; but instead of going to the mountains (_mauka_), they set
snares on the shores (_makai_), and captured many birds of different
kinds, among others the uau and ulili. Returning to the palace, they
assured the chief that they had hunted in the mountains.

Hua summoned his kahuna, and said to him: "There are the birds from the
mountains; you are to die." Uluhoomoe smelled of the birds, and replied:
"These birds do not come from the mountains; they have an odor of the
sea." Hua, supported by his attendants, persisted in saying, as he
believed truly, that they came from the mountains, and repeated his
sentence: "You are to die." Uluhoomoe responded: "I shall have a witness
in my favor if you let me open these birds in your presence." The chief
consented, and small fish were found in the crops of the birds. "Behold my
witness," said the kahuna, with a triumphant air; "these birds came from
the sea!"

Hua, in confusion, fell into a terrible rage, and massacred Uluhoomoe
on the spot. The gods avenged the death of the priest by sending a
distressing famine, first on the island of Maui, then on Hawaii. Hua,
thinking to baffle the divine vengeance, went to Hawaii to escape the
scourge; but a famine more terrible yet pursued him there. The chief
vainly traversed every quarter of the islands; he starved to death in the
temple of Makeanehu (Kohala). His bones, after death, dried and shrunk in
the rays of the burning sun, to which his dead body remained exposed.
This is the origin of the Hawaiian epigram always quoted in recalling the
famine which occurred in the reign of Hua, an epigram which no one has
understood, and which has never been written correctly:

_Koele na iwi o Hua i ka la_--The bones of Hua are dry in the sun.[E]

On the island of Hawaii are many places called by the name of this
celebrated chief. At Kailua, in the hamlet of Puaaaekolu, a beautiful
field, known by the name of Mooniohua, recalls one episode of Hua's
misery. Here it was that, one day, running after food which he could never
attain, he fell asleep, weary with fatigue and want. The word Mooniohua is
probably a corruption of _Moe ana o Hua_--The couch of Hua.


Kawelo, of the island of Kauai, was a sort of giant; handsome, well made,
muscular, his prodigious strength defied animate and inanimate nature. In
his early youth, he felt a violent passion kindle in his bowels for the
Princess Kaakaukuhimalani, so that he sought in every way to touch her
heart. But the princess, too proud, and too high a lady, did not deign to
cast her eyes upon him.

Despairing of making her reciprocate his love, Kawelo poured into his
mother's bosom his grief and his tears. "Mother," said he, "how shall I
succeed in espousing this proud princess? What must I do? Give me your

"My son," replied his mother, "a youth who wishes to please ought to make
himself ready at labor, and skillful in fishing; this is the only secret
of making a good match."

Kawelo too eagerly followed his mother's advice, and soon there was not
on the island a more indefatigable planter of kalo, nor a more expert
fisherman. But what succeeds with common women is not always the thing
to charm the daughters of kings. Kaakaukuhimalani could make nothing of a
husband who was a skillful farmer or a lucky fisherman; other talents are
required to touch the hearts of nobles, and hers remained indifferent,
insensible to the sighs of Kawelo. Nobles then, as to-day, regarded
pleasure above all things; and a good comedian was worth more to them than
an honest workman.

In his great perplexity, Kawelo consulted an old dancing-master, who told
him, "Dancing and poetry are the arts most esteemed and appreciated by
those in power. Come with me into the mountains. I will instruct you,
and if you turn out an accomplished dancer, you will have a sure means of
pleasing the insensible Kaakaukuhimalani." Kawelo listened to the advice
of the poet dancing-master, and withdrew into the mountains to pursue his

He soon became a very skillful dancer, and an excellent reciter of the
mele; so the fame of his skill was not slow in extending through all the
valleys of the island.

One day when Kaakaukuhimalani desired to collect all the accomplished
dancers of Kauai, her attendants spoke to her of Kawelo as a prodigy in
the art, who had not his equal from one end to the other of the group,
from Hawaii to Niihau. "Let some one bring me this marvel!" cried the
princess, pricked with a lively curiosity. The old and cunning preceptor
of the mountains directed his pupil not to present himself at the first
invitation, in order to make his presence more ardently desired. Kawelo,
understanding the value of this advice, did not obey until the third
request; he danced before the princess with a skill so extraordinary that
she fell in love with him, and married him. So Kawelo found himself raised
to princely rank.

The happy parvenu had three older brothers. They were: Kawelomakainoino,
with fierce look and evil eye; Kawelomakahuhu, with unpleasant countenance
and angry expression; Kawelomakaoluolu, with a lovable and gracious face.
All three were endued with the same athletic strength as their younger

Jealous of the good fortune which a princely marriage had brought their
brother, they resolved to humble him for their pleasure. Taking advantage
of the absence of Kaakaukuhimalani, they seized Kawelo and poured a
calabash of poi over his head. Poor Kawelo! The paste ran down from his
head over all his body, and covered him with a sticky plaster which almost
suffocated him. Overwhelmed with shame at having to undergo so humiliating
a punishment, Kawelo fancied that he could no longer live at Kauai; he
determined to exile himself, and live in Oahu.

He had already embarked in his canoe and prepared to set sail with some
faithful friends, when he saw his wife on the shore. Seated beneath the
shade of a kou (_Gordia sebestena_) Kaakaukuhimalani waved her hand to
Kawelo, crying:

Hoi mai Toi mai kaua! Mai hele aku oe!

Return, Return with me! Go not away from me!

Kawelo, touched with love for his wife, but immovably determined to leave
his island, chants his adieu, which forms the subject of the first canto.


  Aloha kou e, aloha kou;
  Ke aloha mai kou ka hoahele
  I ka makani, i ka apaapaa
  Anuu o Ahulua.
  Moe iho uei au
  I ka po uliuli,
  Po uliuli eleele.
  Anapanapa, alohi mai ana ia'u
  Ke aa o Akua Nunu.
  Ine ee au e kui e lei
  Ia kuana na aa kulikuli.
  Papa o hee ia nei lae.
  E u'alo, e u'alo
  Ua alo mai nei ia'u
  Ka launiu e o peahi e;
  E hoi au e, e hoi aku.


  Thou lovest me still! Oh yes
  Thou lovest me; thou,
  The companion who has followed me.
  In the tempest and in the icy
  Winds of Ahulua. I, alas!
  Sleep in dark night, in dark
  And sombre night. My eyes
  Have seen the gleaming flashes
  Of the face of the god Nunu.
  If I resist, I am smitten as by
  The thunder-bolts of the deepening storm.
  Go, daughter of Papa, away from this
  Headland; cease thy lamentations;
  Cease to beckon to me
  With thy fan of cocoa-nut leaves,
  I will come again. Depart thou!

On his arrival at Oahu, Kawelo was well received by the king of that
island, Kakuihewa, who loaded him with favors, and even accorded him great
privileges, to do honor to his wonderful strength. Kawelo did not forget
himself in the midst of the pleasures his strength procured him. He had
vengeful thoughts toward Kauai for the injury he had received from his
brothers. Retiring to a secluded place, and concealing himself as much as
possible from the notice of Kakuihewa, he secretly set about recruiting a
small army of devoted men for an expedition against the island of Kauai.
When he had collected enough warriors, he put to sea with a fleet of light
canoes. Hardly had he left the shore of Oahu, when the marine monster,
Apukohai, met him--an evil omen. He was but the precursor of another
monster, Uhumakaikai, who could raise great waves and capsize canoes. The
oldest sailors never fail to return to land at the first appearance of
Apukohai; all the pilots then advised Kawelo to go back with all speed.
But the chief, full of determination which nothing could shake, would not
change his course; he persisted in sailing toward his destination. This is
the subject of the second canto.


  O ka'u hoa no ia,
  E hoolulu ai maua i ka nahele,
  I anehu au me he kua ua la
  I oee au me he wai la.
  I haalulu au me he kikili la.
  I anei wau me he olai la.
  I alapa au me he uila la.
  I ahiki welawela au me he la la.
  Melemele ka lau ohia,
  Kupu a melemele,
  I ka ua o na' pua eha,
  Eha, o na ole eha eha,
  O na kaula' ha i ke kua
  No paihi, o ka paihi o main.
  A Haku, Haku ai i ka manawa,
  E Pueo e kania,
  Manawai ka ua i ka lehua,
  E hoi ka ua a ka maka o ka lehua;
  La noho mai;
  E hoi ka makani
  A ka maka oka opua
  La noho mai
  E hoi ke kai a manawai
  Nui ka oo, la noho mai.
  E kuu e au i kuu wahi upena
  Ma kahi lae:
  E hei ka makani la'u.
  E kuu e au i kuu wahi upena
  Ma ka' lua lae,
  E hei ka ino ia 'u
  E kuu e au e kuu wahi upena
  Ma ka 'kolu lae,
  E hei ke kona ia 'u
  E kuu e au e kuu wahi upena
  Ma ka' ha lae,
  E hei luna, e hei lalo,
  E hei uka, e hei kai,
  E hei Uhumakaikai.
  I ke olo no Hina,
  E hina kohia i ka aa,


  I had a friend with whom
  I lived peacefully in the wilderness.
  I swung like a cloud full of rain,
  I murmured like a rivulet,
  I shook like a thunder-bolt,
  I overturned every thing like an earthquake,
  I flashed as lightning,
  I consumed like the sun.
  Yellow was the ohia leaf;
  Unfolding, it turned yellow
  Under the rain of the four clouds,
  In the month of the four _ole_,
  When the fisherman, four ropes
  Upon his back, enjoyed calm and fair weather.
  Be Lord, be lord of the weather.
  O Owl, whose cries give life!
  Send down the rain upon the lehua;
  Let the rain come again upon
  The buds of the lehua. Rest, O Sun!
  Let the wind fly
  Before the face of the clouds.
  Rest, O Sun!
  Return, O Ocean of the mighty waters;
  Great is thy tumult! Sun rest here.
  Rest, O Sun! I will cast my net
  At the first headland;
  I shall catch the wind.
  I will cast my net
  At the second headland;
  I shall catch a tempest.
  I will cast forth my net
  At the third headland;
  I shall get the south wind.
  I will cast forth my net
  At the fourth headland;
  I shall take above, below,
  Land and sea--
  I shall take Uhumakaikai.
  At a single word of Hina
  He shall fall; hard pressed
  Shall be the neck of Uhumakaikai.

In the sixteenth verse of this second canto Kawelo invokes the owl, which
the Hawaiians regarded as a god. In extreme perils, if the owl made
its cries heard, it was a sign of safety, as the voice of this bird
was sacred; and more than once has it happened that men, destined to be
immolated on the altar of sacrifices as expiatory victims, have escaped
death merely because the owl (_Pueo_) was heard before the immolation. It
is easy to understand, after this, the invocation that Kawelo made to Pueo
when he found himself in combat with the terrible Uhumakaikai.

In the third canto Kawelo endeavors to destroy the monster. He commences
by saying that he, a chief (_ka lani_), does not disdain to work as a
simple fisherman. Then he pays a tribute to those who have woven the
net he is going to use to capture the monster of the sea. The olona
(_Boehmeria_), a shrub whose bark furnishes the Hawaiians with an
excellent fibre, was regarded as a sort of deity. Before spinning its
fibres, they made libations, and offered sacrifices of hogs, fowls, etc.
Kawelo refers to all this in his song.


  Huki kuu ka lani
  Keaweawekaokai honua,
  Kupu ola ua ulu ke opuu.
  Ke kahi 'ke olona.
  Kahoekukama kohi lani.
  O kia ka piko o ke olona,
  Ihi a ka ili no moki no lena,
  Ahi kuni ka aala,
  Kunia, haina, paia,
  Holea, hoomoe ka Papa,
  Ke kahi ke olona,
  Ke kau ko opua,
  Ke kea ka maawe
  Kau hae ka ilo ka uha,
  Ke kaakalawa ka upena:
  O kuu aku i kai,
  I kai a Papa; ua hina,
  E hina, kohia i ka aa
  O Uhumakaikai.


  I, a chief, willingly
  Cast my net of olona;
  The olona springs up, it grows,
  It branches and is cut down.
  The paddles of the chief beat the sea.
  Stripped off is the bark of the alona,
  Peeled is the bark of the yellow moki.
  The fire exhales a sweet odor;
  The sacrifice is ready.
  The bark is peeled, the board[F] is made ready,
  The olona is carded,
  And laid on the board.
  White is the cord,
  The cord is twisted on the thigh,
  Finished is the net!
  Cast it into the sea,
  Into the sea of Papa; let him fall,
  Let him fall, that I may strangle the neck
  Of Uhumakaikai.

After having exterminated Uhumakaikai, the conqueror sailed unmolested
toward Kauai, to defeat his other enemies. Kawelo had on this island two
friends, who were at the same time his relations; they were the chiefs
Akahakaloa and Aikanaka. When these chiefs learned that their cousin
intended to return to Kauai, they enrolled themselves in the ranks of his
enemies, and prepared to make a vigorous resistance to his landing. It was
on perceiving their armies upon the shore that Kawelo commenced his fourth


  O oe no ia, e ka lani Akahakaloa,
  Kipeapea kau ko ohule ia
  Konia kakahakaloa:
  I kea a kau io k'awa
  Hahau kau kaua la.
  E Aikanaka.
  Kii ka pohuli
  E hoopulapula
  Na na na.
  E naenaehele koa
  Kona aina.


  Ah! it is then you, chief Akahakaloa.
  A roosting-place is thy bald head become
  For the gathering birds.
  Disobedient Akahakaloa;
  Thou appearest as a warrior
  Offshoot of Kiipueaua.
  Defeat has come upon you in the
  Day of battle, O Aikanaka!
  You require transplanting--
  Yes, a nursery of warriors--
  You do, indeed.
  Unfruitful of warriors
  Is his country.

In the following song Kawelo exhorts his two old friends, Kalaumaki
and Kaamalama, who had followed him to Oahu, to fight bravely in the
approaching battle. The return of Kawelo was expected, and, foreseeing it,
the islanders had taken advantage of his absence to roll, or carry, to the
bank of the Wailua River immense quantities of stones. The relatives
and friends of Kawelo, who had remained at Kauai during his exile, had
themselves assisted in these warlike preparations, ignorant of their
object. It is on beholding the hostile reception prepared for him that
Kawelo chants the fifth song--a proclamation to his army.


  E Kaamalama,
  E Kalaumaki,
  E hooholoia ka pohaku;
  E kaua ia iho na waa;
  He la, kaikoonui nei;
  Be auau nei ka moana;
  He kai paha nei kahina 'lii[G]
  Ua ku ka hau a ke aa;
  Be ahu pohaku
  I Wailua.
  O ua one maikai nai
  Ua malua, ua kahawai,
  Ua piha i ka pohaku
  A Kauai.
  He hula paha ko uka
  E lehulehu nei.
  He pahea la, he koi,
  He koi la, he kukini;
  I hee au i ka nalu, a i aia,
  Paa ia'u, a hele wale oukou:
  E Kaamalama,
  E Kalaumaki,
  Ka aina o Kauai la
  Ua hee.


  O Kaamalama!
  O Kalaumaki!
  Behold how they heap stones.
  Let us draw our canoes ashore;
  This is a day when the surf rolls high;
  The ocean swells, the sea perchance
  Portends another deluge.
  Piles of pebbles are collected;
  A heap of stones
  Has the Wailua become.
  This beautiful sandy country
  Is now full of pits like the bed of a torrent;
  And all Kauai
  Has filled it with rocks.
  A dance perchance brings hither
  This great multitude;
  Games or a race--
  Games indeed.
  If I cast myself upon the surf,
  I am caught: you will go free.
  O Kaamalama,
  O Kalaumaki,
  Fled is the land
  Of Kauai!

The combat has commenced. The people of Kauai rain showers of stones upon
the landing troops. Kawelo, buried beneath a heap of stones, but still
alive, compares himself to a fish inclosed on all sides by nets, and then
to the victims offered in sacrifices. He then begins his invocations to
the gods.


  Puni ke ekule o kai
  Ua kaa i ka papau
  Ua komo i ka ulu o ka lawaia.
  Naha ke aa o ka upena,
  Ka hala i ka ulua.
  Mau ia poai ia o ke kai uli.
  Halukuluku ka pohaku
  A Kauai me he ua la.
  Kolokolo mai ana ka huihui
  Ka maeele io'u lima,
  Na lima o Paikanaka.
  E Kane i ka pualena,
  E Ku lani ehu e,
  Na'u na Kawelo,
  Na ko lawaia.


  The ekule of the sea is surrounded;
  Stranded in a shallow,
  It is within the grasp of the fisherman.
  Broken are the meshes of the net
  Within the hala and ulua.
  A sacrifice is to be offered.
  Surrounded are the fish of the blue sea.
  The rocks fall in showers--
  A storm of the stones of Kauai.
  The coldness of death creeps over me.
  Numb are my limbs,
  The limbs of Paikanaka.
  O Kane of the yellow flower;
  O Ku, ruddy chief;
  It is I, Kawelo,
  Thy fisherman.

Left for dead beneath the heap of stones, Kawelo, perceiving his danger,
continues his prayer.


  Ku ke Akua
  I ka nana nuu.
  O Lono ke akua
  I kama Pele.
  O Hiaka ke akua
  I ka puukii.
  O Haulili ke akua
  I ka lehelehe
  Aumeaume maua me Milu.
  I'au, ia ia;
  I'au, ia ia;
  I'au iho no:
  Pakele au, mai make ia ia.


  O divine Ku,
  Who beholdest the inner places.
  O Lono, divine one,
  Husband of Pele.
  O holy Hiaka,
  Dweller on the hills.
  O Haulili, god
  Ruling the lips!
  We two have wrestled, Milu and I.
  I had the upper hand;
  I had the upper hand;
  Then was I beneath:
  I escaped, all but killed by him.


  He opua la, he opua,
  He opua hao walo keia,
  Ke maalo nei e ko'u maka.
  He mauli waa o Kaamalama.
  Eia ke kualau
  Hoko o ka pouli makani,
  Oe nei la, e Kaamalama
  Ke hele ino loa i ke ao.
  Ua palala, ua poipu ka lani,
  Ua wehe ke alaula o ke alawela,
  He alanui ia o Kaamalama.
  Oe mai no ma kai,
  Owau iho no ma uka;
  E hee o Aikanaka
  I ke ahiahi.
  E u ka ilo la i ko' waha;
  Ai na koa i ka ala mihi.
  Ai pohaku ko' akua.
  Ai Kanaka ko maua akua.
  Kuakea ke poo
  I ka pehumu.
  Nakeke ka aue i ka iliili.
  Hai Kaamalama ia oe,
  Hae' ke akua ulu ka niho.
  E Ku lani ehu e;
  Na'n na Kawelo
  Na ko lawaia.


  Here is a cloud, there another.
  This cloud bears destruction;
  I have seen it pass before my eyes.
  The obscure cloud is the canoe of Kaamalama.
  This is the tempest,
  Wind in the darkness;
  Thou art the sun, Kaamalama,
  Rising clouded in the dawn.
  Dark and shaded are the heavens,
  A warm day begins to dawn.
  This is the path of Kaamalama.
  Thou art from the sea,
  I, indeed, beneath the land mountain.
  Fly, O Aikanaka,
  In the evening!
  Maggots shall fatten in thy mouth;
  The soldiers eat the fragrant mihi.
  Thy god is a devourer of rocks;
  Our god eats human flesh.
  Bleached shall be thy head
  In the earth-oven.
  Thy broken jaw shall rattle on the beach pebbles.
  Kaamalama shall sacrifice you,
  The god's tooth shall grow on the sacrifice.
  O Kane of the yellow flower;
  0 Ku, bright chief;
  I am Kawelo,
  Thy fisherman.

In the following canto Kawelo reproaches and menaces the chief Kaheleha,
who had deserted him for Aikanaka.


  Kulolou ana ke poo o ka opua,
  Ohumuhumu olelo una la'u:
  Owau ka! ka ai o ka la na.
  E Kaheleha o Puna
  Kuu keiki hookama
  Aloha ole!
  O kaua hoi no hoa
  Mai ka wa iki
  I hoouka'i kakou
  I Wailua;
  Lawe ae hoi au, oleloia:
  Haina ko'u make
  Ia Kauai.
  E pono kaakaa laau
  Ka Kawelo.
  Aole i iki i ka alo i ka pohaku.
  Aloha wale oe e Kaheleha
  O Puna.
  A pa nei ko'poo i ka laau,
  Ka laulaa o kuikaa.
  Nanaia ka a ouli keokeo.
  Papapau hoa aloha wale!
  Aikanaka ma,
  Aloha i ka hei wale
  O na pokii.


  The head of the cloud bears down
  And whispers a word in my ear:
  It is I! the food of a rainy day.
  O Kahelaha, of Puna,
  My adopted son,
  Heartless fellow!
  We two were comrades
  In times of poverty;
  In the day of battle
  We were together at Wailua.
  It might be said
  My death was proclaimed
  In Kauai.
  Good to look upon
  Is the strength of Kawelo.
  He knows not how to throw stones.
  Farewell to you, Kaheleha
  Of Puna.
  Thy head is split by my spear,
  A spliced container!
  The whitening form is to be seen.
  O Aikanaka, loving only in name,
  To you and yours,
  Farewell to the ensnared,
  The youngest born.

History declares, and this ninth canto confirms it, that Kaheleha of Puna,
Kawelo's friend from his youth, and one of his powerful companions in
arms at the descent on Wailua, believed that Kawelo was mortally wounded
beneath the shower of stones that had covered him, and this belief had
induced him to go over to the camp of Aikanaka. Verses fourteen to sixteen
are the words that Kawelo reproaches Kaheleha with saying before his
enemies. Kaheleha was slain by the hand of Kawelo at the same time with


  Me he ulu wale la
  I ka moana,
  O Kauai nui moku lehua;
  Aina nui makekau,
  Makamaka ole ia Kawelo.
  Ua make o Maihuna 'lii,
  Maleia ka makuahine;
  Ua hooleiia i ka pali nui,
  O laua ka! na manu
  Kikaha i lelepaumu.
  Aloha mai o'u kupuna:
  O Au a me Aalohe,
  O Aua, a Aaloa,
  O Aapoko, o Aamahana.
  O Aapoku o Aauopelaea:
  Ua make ia Aikanaka.


  Like a forest rising abruptly
  Out of the ocean,
  Is Kauai, with flowery lehua;
  Grand but ungrateful land,
  Without friends or dear ones for Kawelo.
  They have put to death Maihuna,
  As also Malei, my mother.
  They have cast from a great pali
  Both of them! Were they birds
  To fly thus in the air?
  Love to you, oh my ancestors:
  To you, Au and Aaloha,
  To you, Aua and Aaloa,
  Aapoko and Aamahana,
  Aapoku and Aauopelaea,
  Who died by the hand of Aikanaka.

Maihuna was the father of Kawelo, and Aikanaka was his first cousin. The
latter put to death all the family of Kawelo, after having employed them,
with the other inhabitants of Kauai, in collecting the stones which were
to repulse his cousin. It was before the great battle of Wailua that
Kawelo's family was put to death.

In the last canto the hero reproaches his friends for abandoning him in
the day of danger. At the sight of his old friends, whose bodies he
had pierced with many wounds in punishment, he cries: "Where are those
miserable favorites?" He had transfixed them with his lance--that lance
made, he says, for the day of battle.

He compares Aikanaka to a long lance because of his power; he reproaches
him with having betrayed himself, who was comparatively but a little
lance--a little bit of wood (_laau iki_); then he ironically remarks that
Kauai is too small an island for his conquered friends.


  Auhea iho nei la hoi
  Ua mau wahi hulu alaala nei
  Au i oo aku ai
  I ka maka o ke keiki
  A Maihuna?
  He ihe no ka la kaua.
  Pau hewa ka'u iu
  Me kau ai,
  Pau hewa ka hinihini ai
  A ka moamahi.
  Komo hewa ko'u waa
  Ia lakou.
  O lakou ka! ka haalulu
  I ka pohaku i kaa nei,
  Uina aku la i kahakaha ke one,
  Kuu pilikia i Honuakaha.
  Makemake i ka laau nui,
  Haalele i kahi laau iki.
  He iki kahi kihapai
  Ka noho ka! i Kauai,
  Iki i kalukalu a Puna.
  Lilo Puna ia Kaheleha
  Lilo Kona ia Kalaumaki,
  Lilo Koolau ia Makuakeke,
  Lilo Kohala ia Kaamalama,
  Lilo Hanalei ia Kanewahineikialoha.
  Mimihi ka hune o Kauluiki ma.
  Aloha na pokii i ka hei wale.


  Where just now are those chiefs,
  Rebellious and weak,
  Whom the point of the spear
  Has transfixed--the spear of the
  Son of Maihuna?
  The spear made for the day of battle.
  Stolen was my fish,
  And the vegetable food--
  Stolen the food raised by
  The conqueror.
  Mischievously did you
  Sink my canoes.
  O wretches! ye trembled
  When the rocks rolled down,
  At the noise they made on the sand.
  When I was in danger at Honuakaha,
  Ye who desire long lances
  And despise those that are small,
  Too small a place was Kauai,
  Your dwelling;
  Small was the kalukalu of Puna.
  Puna shall belong to Kaheleeha,
  Kona to Kalaumaki,
  Koolau to Makuakeke,
  Kohala to Kaamalama,
  Hanalei to Kanewahineikialoha.
  The poverty of Kauluiki and his friends grieves me.
  Farewell, little ones caught in the net!

Here ends all that we were able to collect of this original and very
ancient poetry. Tradition relates that Kawelo became king of Kauai, and
reigned over that island to an advanced age.

When old age had lessened his force, and weakened his power, his subjects
seized him and cast him from the top of a tremendous precipice.

[Illustration: THE TARO PLANT.]


[Additions by the translator are inclosed in brackets.]

(1.) The name of Alapai is not found in the genealogy published by David
Malo. Nevertheless, we have positive information from our old man and
other distinguished natives that Alapai was supreme chief of Hawaii
immediately before Kalaniopuu.

(2.) Poi is a paste made of the tuberous root of the kalo (_Colocasia
antiquorum_, var. _esculenta_, Schott.). More than thirty varieties of
kalo are cultivated on the Hawaiian Islands, most of them requiring a
marshy soil, but a few will grow in the dry earth of the mountains. The
tubers of all the kinds are acrid, except one, which is so mild that it
may be eaten raw. After it is freed from acridity by baking, the kalo is
pounded until reduced to a kind of paste which is eaten cold, under the
name of poi. It is the principal food of the natives, with whom it takes
the place of bread. The kalo leaves are eaten like spinach (_luau_), and
the flowers (spathe and spadix), cooked in the leaves of the cordyline
(_C. terminalis_, H.B.K.), form a most delicious dish. It is not only as
poi that the tubers are eaten; they are sliced and fried like potatoes,
or baked whole upon hot stones. It is in this last form that I have eaten
them in my expeditions. A tuber which I carried in my pocket has often
been my only provision for the day.

In Algeria, a kind of kalo is cultivated under the name of _chou caraibe_,
whose tubers are larger, but less feculent. [In China, smaller and much
less delicately flavored tubers are common in the markets.]

(3.) The Hawaiians have always been epicures in the article of dog-meat.
The kind they raise for their feasts is small and easily fatted, like pig.
They are fed only on vegetables, especially kalo, to make their flesh more
tender and delicately flavored. Sometimes these dogs are suckled by the
women at the expense of their infants. The ones that have been thus fed at
a woman's breast are called _ilio poli_, and are most esteemed.

(4.) The Kahualii are still genuine parasites in the Hawaiian nation. They
are, to use the language of a Catholic missionary, the Cretans of whom
Paul speaks: "Evil beasts, slow bellies;" a race wholly in subjection to
their appetite, living from day to day, always reclining on the mat, or
else riding horses furiously; having no more serious occupation than to
drink, eat, sleep, dance, tell stories; giving themselves up, in a word,
to all pleasures, lawful and unlawful, without scruple or distinction of
persons. The Kahualii are very lazy. They are ashamed of honest labor,
thinking they would thus detract from their rank as chiefs. Islanders of
this caste are almost never seen in the service of Europeans. When their
patron, the high chief of the family, has made them feel the weight of
his displeasure, these inferior chiefs become notoriously miserable, worse
than the lowest of the Kanakas (generic name of the natives).

(5.) [Kamehameha IV. and V. were only noble through their mother,
Kinau, the wife of Kekuanaoa. They were adopted by Kamehameha III.

(6.) The old historian Namiki, an intelligent man, and well versed in the
secrets of Hawaiian antiquity, has left precious unedited documents, which
have fallen into our hands. His son, Kuikauai, a school-master at Kailua,
one of the true historico-sacerdotal race, has given us a genealogy of his
ancestors which ascends without break to Paao.

(7.) A tradition exists, mentioned by Jarves, that Paao landed at
Kohoukapu before the reign of Umi. According to the same author, Paao was
not a Kanaka, but a man of the Caucasian race. However this may be, every
one agrees that Paao was a foreigner, and a _naauao_ (scholar; literally,
a man with enlightened entrails, the Hawaiians placing the mind and
affections in the bowels).

(8.) Hina, according to tradition, brought into the world several sons,
who dug the palis of Hulaana. It may be asked whether _Hina_, which means
_a fall_, does not indicate a deluge (Kaiakahinalii of the Hawaiians),
or some sort of cataclysm, and whether the islanders have not personified

(9.) It is, however, improbable that there were ever genuine sorcerers
among the Hawaiians, in the sense that word has among Christians. It may
have happened, and indeed it happens every day, that people die after
the machinations of the kahuna-anaana; but it is more reasonable to refer
these tragical deaths to the use of poison, than to attribute them to the
incantations of the sorcerers. It is moreover known that there are on the
group many poisons furnished by trees, by shrubs and sea-weeds; and the
kahuna-anaana understood perfectly these vegetable poisons. The many known
examples of their criminal use inclines us to believe that these kahuna
were rather poisoners than magicians. [Kalaipahoa, the poison-god, was
believed to have been carved out of a very poisonous wood, a few chips of
which would cause death when mixed with the food.]

(10.) During the summer of the year 1852, while I was exploring the island
of Kauai, I was near being the victim, under remarkable circumstances, of
an old kahuna named Lilihae. I was then residing under the humble roof
of the Mission at Moloaa. Lilihae had been baptized, and professed
Christianity, although it was well known that he clung to the worship of
his gods. He was introduced to me by the missionaries as a man who, by his
memory and profession, could add to my historical notes. I indeed obtained
from him most precious material, and in a moment of good nature the old
man even confided to me the secret of certain prayers that the priests
alone should know. I wrote down several formulae at his dictation, only
promising to divulge nothing before his death. The old man evidently
considered himself perjured, for after his revelations he came no more to
see me.

Some days had passed after our last interview, and I thought no more of
him. All at once I lost my appetite and fell sick. I could eat nothing
without experiencing a nausea, followed immediately by continual vomiting.
Two missionaries and my French servant, who partook of my food, exhibited
almost the same symptoms. Not suspecting the true cause of these ailments,
I attributed them to climate and the locality, and especially to the
pestilent winds which had brought an epidemic ophthalmia among
the natives. Things remained in this condition a fortnight without
improvement, when one morning at breakfast a marmalade of bananas was
served. I had hardly touched it to my lips when the nausea returned with
greater violence; I could eat nothing, and soon a salivation came on which
lasted several hours. In the mean while a poor Breton who had established
himself on the island some years ago, and had conformed to savage life,
came to see me. Bananas were scarce in the neighborhood, and he found that
I had a large supply of them, and I offered him a bunch. Fortin, it was
his name, on his way back to his cabin with my present, broke a banana
off the bunch and commenced to eat it. He felt under his tooth a hard
substance, which he caught in his hand. To his great surprise, it was a
sort of blue and white stone. He soon felt ill, and fortunately was able
to vomit what he had swallowed. Furious, and accusing me of a criminal
intention, he returned to my quarters to demand an explanation. I examined
the substance taken from the banana, and found that it was blue vitriol
and corrosive sublimate. The presence of such substances in a banana was
far from natural. I took other bunches of my supply, and found in several
bananas the same poisons, which had been skillfully introduced under the
skin. After some inquiries I found, from Fortin's own wife, that similar
drugs had been sometimes seen in the hands of Lilihae, who had bought them
of a druggist in Honolulu for the treatment of syphilis. The riddle was at
once completely solved. A few days passed, and Lilihae killed himself by
poison, convinced that all his attempts could not kill me. In his native
superstition, he was satisfied that the gods would not forgive his
indiscretion, since they withheld from him the power of taking my
life; and he could devise no simpler way to escape their anger, and the
vengeance of my own God, than to take himself the poison against which
I had rebelled. It was discovered that Lilihae had, in the first place,
tried native poisons on me, and finding them ineffective, he thought that
my foreign nature might require exotic poisons, which he had accordingly
served in the bananas destined for my table. He went, without my
knowledge, into the cook-house where my native servants kept my
provisions, and, under pretext of chatting with them, found means to
poison my food. The unfortunate kahuna died fully persuaded that I was
a more powerful sorcerer than he. It was to be feared that, when he
discovered his impotency, he would intrust the execution of his designs
to his fellows, as is common among sorcerers; but his suicide fortunately
removed this sword of Damocles which hung over my head.

(11.) At the present day, useless old men are no longer destroyed, nor are
the children, whom venereal diseases have rendered very rare, suffocated;
but they do eat lice, fleas, and grasshoppers. Flies inspire the same
disgust, and the women still give their breasts to dogs, pigs, and young

(12.) [This operation is certainly still practiced extensively, if not
universally; and the ancient form of _kakiomaka_, or slitting the prepuce,
has given way, generally, to the _okipoepoe_, or the complete removal of
the foreskin. The operation in a case that came under my notice on the
island of Oahu was performed with a bamboo, and attended with a feast and
rejoicings; the subject was about nine years old.]

(13.) The islanders, who admire and honor great eaters, have generally
stomachs of a prodigious capacity. Here is an example: To compensate my
servants, some seven in number, for the hardships I had made them endure
on Mauna Kea, I presented them with an ox that weighed five hundred pounds
uncooked. They killed him in the morning, and the next evening there was
not a morsel left. One will be less astonished at this when I say that
these ogres, when completely stuffed, promote vomitings by introducing
their fingers into their throats, and return again to the charge. [It is
equally true that the Kanakas will go for a long time without much food,
and it can not be said they are a race of gluttons.]

(14.) Awa (_Piper methysticum_) grows spontaneously in the mountains of
the Hawaiian group. The natives formerly cultivated it largely [and
since the removal of the strict prohibition on its culture fields are not
uncommon]. From the roots the natives prepare a very warm and slightly
narcotic intoxicating drink. It is made thus: women chew the roots, and
having well masticated them, spit them, well charged with saliva, into
a calabash used for the purpose. They add a small portion of water, and
press the juice from the chewed roots by squeezing them in their hands.
This done, the liquid is strained through cocoa-nut fibres to separate all
the woody particles it may contain, and the awa is in a drinkable state.
The quantity drunk by each person varies from a quarter to half a
litre (two to four gills). This liquor is taken just before supper, or
immediately after. The taste is very nauseous, disagreeable to the
last degree. One would suppose he was drinking thick dish-water of a
greenish-yellow color. But its effects are particularly pleasant. An
irresistible sleep seizes you, and lasts twelve, twenty-four hours, or
even more, according to the dose, and the temperament of the individual.
Delicious dreams charm this long torpor.

Often when the dose is too great or too small, sleep does not follow; but
in its place an intoxication, accompanied by fantastic ideas, and a strong
desire to skip about, although one can not for a moment balance himself
on his legs. I felt these last symptoms for sixty hours the first time I
tasted this Polynesian liquor. The effects of awa on the constitution of
habitual drinkers are disastrous. The body becomes emaciated, and the skin
is covered, as in leprosy, with large scales, which fall off, and leave
lasting white spots, which often become ulcers.

(15.) This usage still exists in certain families toward great personages
or people they wish especially to honor; but it is disappearing every
day. Formerly when a Kanaka received a visit from a friend of a remote
district, women were always comprised in the exchange of presents on that
occasion. To fail in this was regarded as an unpardonable insult. The
thing was so inwrought in their customs, that the wife of the visitor did
not wait the order of her husband to surrender her person to her host.

(16.) [Liliha was the wife of Boki, governor of Oahu under Kamehameha II.]

(17.) The most curious thing which attracts the traveler's eye in the
ruins of the temples built by Umi is the existence of a mosaic pavement,
in the form of a regular cross, which extends throughout the whole length
and breadth of the inclosure. This symbol is not found in monuments
anterior to this king, nor in those of later times. One can not help
seeing in this an evidence of the influence of the two shipwrecked white
men whose advent we have referred to. Can we not conclude, from the
existence of these Christian emblems, that about the time when the great
Umi filled the group with his name, the Spanish or Portuguese shipwrecked
persons endeavored to introduce the worship of Christ to these islands?
Kama of Waihopua (Ka'u) has given us, through Napi, an explanation of
the four compartments observed in the temple of Umi, represented by the
following figure; but if we accept this explanation of Kama, it is as
difficult to understand why this peculiarity is observed in the monuments
of Umi, and not in any other heiau; as, for example, Kupalaha, situated in
the territory of Makapala; Mokini, at Puuepa; Aiaikamahina, toward the sea
at Kukuipahu; Kuupapaulau, inland at Kukuipahu-mauka. The remains of these
four remarkable temples are found in the district of Kohala. Not the least
vestige of the crucial division is to be seen. The god Kaili [see the
first page of the Appendix], a word which means a theft, was not known
before the time of Umi. [The temple of Iliiliopae, at the mouth of
Mapulehu Valley, on Molokai, is divided as in the diagram, and the same is
true of many other heiau; and as it seems to have been the usual form, it
is not probable that the form of the cross had any thing to do with it.]

    | Place of the god Kaili.   | Place of the god Ku.    |
    | Place of the priest Lono. | Place of the chief Umi. |

(18.) It does not seem improbable that a premature death removed the
foreigner who could have given Umi the idea of an art until then unknown;
and had the foreigner lived longer, these curious stones would have
served to build an edifice of which the native architects knew not the

(19.) [The cities of Refuge were a remarkable feature of Hawaiian
antiquity. There were two of these _Pahonua_ on Hawaii. The one at
Honaunau, as measured by Rev. W. Ellis, was seven hundred and fifteen feet
in length and four hundred and four feet wide. Its walls were twelve feet
high and fifteen feet thick, formerly surmounted by huge images, which
stood four rods apart, on their whole circuit. Within this inclosure were
three large heiau, one of which was a solid truncated pyramid of stone one
hundred and twenty-six feet by sixty, and ten feet high. Several masses of
rock weighing several tons are found in the walls some six feet from the
ground. During war they were the refuge of all non-combatants. A white
flag was displayed at such times a short distance from the walls, and here
all refugees were safe from the pursuing conquerors. After a short period
they might return unmolested to their homes, the divine protection of
Keawe, the tutelary deity, still continuing with them.]

[Footnote A: The original _Récits d'un Vieux Sauvage pour servir a
l'histoire ancienne de Hawaii_ was read on the 15th of December, 1857, to
the Society of Agriculture, Commerce, Science, and Arts of the Department
of the Marne, of which M. Remy was a corresponding member, and published
at Chalons-sur-Marne in 1859. The translation is perfectly literal, and
the Mele of Kawelo has been translated directly from the Hawaiian, M.
Remy's translation being often too free. A portion of this work was
translated several years since by President W.D. Alexander, of Oahu
College, and published in _The Friend_, at Honolulu, by William T.

[Footnote B: This was not true. Liholiho carried some to England, and the
rest were probably hidden in some of the many caverns on the shores of
Kealakeakua Bay.--_Trans_.]

[Footnote C: The Hawaiian Islands were discovered in 1555, by Juan
Gaetano, or Gaytan.--_Trans_.]

[Footnote D: Kaleikini may be considered the Hawaiian Hercules.]

[Footnote E: The more common form is, _Koele na iwi o Hua ma i ka la_--Dry
are the bones of Hua and his company in the sun.--_Trans_.]

[Footnote F: On which the bark is beaten to make kapa.]

[Footnote G: The Hawaiians have a tradition of an ancient deluge, called


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