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December 1851


1 December 1851 • Monday

Variously engaged wrote a letter to Bros. B & F., Oahu.1

2 December 1851 • Tuesday

do. do. In evening rained.

3 December 1851 • Wednesday

Bro. Hammond and I started this morning for Honuaula [Honua‘ula]; he thinking that by travelling with me and using the Natives as our medium of communication that he would learn as fast or faster than by living with the Natives. As we thought there was as good an opportunity for Bro. Hawkins to live at Wailua, Koolau [Ko‘olau] and get the language, it was thought best for him to go there. He said he was quite revived by his visit and felt to be encouraged to persevere.—After our arrival at H. it commenced raining Bro. H. [Hammond] was acquainted with a white man there Mr. Calyer at whose house we stopped.

4 December 1851 • Thursday

Held meeting in morning. Raining all day.

5 December 1851 • Friday

do. do do

6 December 1851 • Saturday

Held meeting this morning. Bro. H’s horse broke his rope last night and we had a long chase after him and a difficult job to catch him; he ran into a large yard fenced with stone, where we caught him. Held meeting in afternoon.

7 December 1851 • Sunday

Held meeting this morning but few in attendance, this has been the case every meeting here, the people seem to be completely turned against the truth [and] have no desire apparently to listen. There has been little or no increase in numbers for some time back, it seems almost an impossibility to get the ears of any belonging to the church they know it all already. I tryed this morning to get the privilege of preaching in their meeting house there being quite a large congregation, but was insulted by the Native who had it in charge. We have need, much need of the spirit of the Lord and of a good deal of patience and perseverance to hold on; if I did not know that it was true and the Lord’s work I should almost despair, as it is, I feel to rely upon him to sustain us. Had sacrament in afternoon; several of the others after their meeting was over came to look on, I commenced upon the first principles showing up our beleif, and the majority left. Organised the branch ordained a teacher and deacon; Kekaula, Ioane. K Limaaneheau.

8 December 1851 • Monday

Returned to Kula.

9 December 1851 • Tuesday

Bro. H. started for Makawao.

10 December 1851 • Wednesday

Reading &c.

11 December 1851 • Thursday

Started very early this morning for Makawao on foot, as my horse’s back was sore I thought I would let him run for a short time. They were all well at M.

12 December 1851 • Friday2

Bro. H & myself <I> started for Wailuku when we got in the vicinity of the town we thought best to have prayer. I proposed that Bro. H. should go off and pray and I would watch and give him notice of the approach of any one. We stopped upon an eminence at the edge of the town and talked over the situation of things here and the best step for us to take, and where to stop. I felt somewhat delicate about going to [Jonathan] Napela’s after leaving his house under the circumstances that I did; but after canvassing the matter over we thought it best to go there first & then if we could not stay there to find some other place. When we arrived at N’s house we found him in conversation with some four or five natives upon our principles—one of these was named [Samuel] Kamakau a member of Parliament and said to be the best orator and one of the smartest natives on the islands. We had scarcely sat down before the conversation was turned over to me N. having had them all at him before. We conversed until the roosters crowed for morning I was blessed with fluency and the Lord enabled me to answer all their questions to their satisfaction; they were (especially Kamakau and one named Naiapaakai) the best read natives in the bible that I have conversed with—toward the last they sat listened and quit objecting or arguing. They wrote down some of our leading objections to the sects, and to theirs (the Calvinistic) in particular, together with the proofs showing their deviations from the ancient gospel pattern. After they got thro’ with this I called upon them to show us our errors from the scripture as I said3 <no> doubt the ministers had endeavored to prove us false from the scriptures. They said they could not do it. Napela told them that if they had any objections now was the time to make them as I was present and could defend myself and <not> to go behind our backs and talk about us. It was near daylight when we got through.4

13 December 1851 • Saturday

Engaged in conversation with Kamakau and others upon various subjects.

14 December 1851 • Sunday

This morning Mr. Napela obtained a house to preach in close to his house. We went in and found about half a dozen in the house. N’s house had been full a few minutes before with the leading men of this region but not one of them would come to hear us—after a while Mr. N. and some others came in. We felt very much downcast and grieved to witness the indifference manifested by the people—it seemed as though popularity and not truth was the object to be obtained—they rejected the precious boon as a thing of nought.—Such thoughts affected and oppressed me and I could not restrain my feelings when I attempted to open meeting by prayer I had such a gush of feeling it was with difficulty that I could command my feelings sufficiently to pray. I preached upon the first principles. In afternoon preached at the back of Napela’s house—there were a good many present who listened to all that was said with attention.—After meeting baptised two men. After forenoon meeting while we were sitting in N’s Kamakau returned in company with John Richardson N’s brother-in law, from their meeting—they commenced upon Mormonism and showed a spirit of opposition very different to the spirit evinced by Kamakau heretofore. We talked pretty sharp.—being grieved at the hardness of their hearts and their anxiety to justify themselves even at the expense of rejecting the truth—and silenced them.

15 December 1851 • Monday

We started for Waiehu and stopped at the house of Mr. Birch his land being here—he formerly resided at Wailuku while I lived there. We sat and talked with him and while conversing we were surprised by the appearance of Bros. Winchester and [William] Perkins. Bro. P. had arrived from the coast a week or two before in company with his wife [Patty Perkins] and Sister [Elvira] Woodbury—he had left Lahaina and had gone to Makawao to see Bro. H. and the rest of us. They stayed the night Bro. H & Bro. P. sleeping together at the house of Mr. B. [Birch] and Bro. W. & myself slept at the house of Bro. <Mr.> [David] Rice the son-in-law of Mr. B.

16 December 1851 • Tuesday

Rather wet. Bros. P. & W. started for Lahaina. We held meeting at the house of Mr. B. and afterwards baptised eleven; after which confirmed and spoke to them upon the principles of the gospel in regard to the Holy Ghost.

17 December 1851 • Wednesday

Held meeting again this morning and baptised eight, three of them daughters of Mr. B. Eat dinner at Mr. R’s house and then started to Waihee [Waihe‘e] and stopped at the at the [sic] house of the brother of Napela [Kanahunahupu] and appointed a meeting for next morning.

18 December 1851 • Thursday

Preached this morning upon the first principles not many in attendance; one man desired to be baptised. In evening baptised seven.

19 December 1851 • Friday

Met and confirmed those baptised and spoke a little. Afternoon left for Waiehu having an appointment for meeting there. Met and had a small meeting. Stopped at the house of Mr. Rice.

20 December 1851 • Saturday

Raining nearly all day stayed with Bro. Rice until about 3 o’clock and then started for Wailuku; found Mr. N. quite unwell but in good spirits.

21 December 1851 • Sunday

Held meeting a good congregation in attendance I had a good flow of the spirit. After meeting baptised eleven. In afternoon confirmed and preached had a good attendance.

22 December 1851 • Monday

Bros. Winchester & Burnham had invited us to spend Christmas there [Makawao]—and we accordingly started this morning arrived about three o’clock found them all well.

23 December 1851 • Tuesday

Made5 a visit to Mr. [A. H.] Spencer’s and Capt. [P.] Perry’s sugar mills.6

24 December 1851 • Wednesday

Spent the day very agreeably in company with the brethren.

25 December 1851 • Thursday

Mr.7 Rice arrived this morning from Waiehu We spent a very agreeable day and had an excellent Christmas dinner—but still my thought[s] naturally reverted to home and its attractions and I could not help wondering whether I was forgotten by the folks amid the general festivities. We had in the evening a candy frolic a spirit of hilarity and mirthfulness prevailed.

26 December 1851 • Friday

Engaged during day in conversation reading &c. In evening we got upon the subject of Phrenology8 and Mesmerism.9 Mr. Rice had mesmerised; and he endeavored to put Bro’s Winchester and Burnham to sleep but they did not suit him in laughing &c. I then sat down and he endeavored to operate upon me; we sat for some time and after awhile he stopped, saying if we kept on he would be obliged to go to sleep as he felt it coming on; feeling it in his limbs and head. I told him that we believed that a man holding the Priesthood and magnifying him it could not be operated upon.

27 December 1851 • Saturday

We left this morning for Wailuku and stopped at Mr. N’s.

28 December 1851 • Sunday10

Preached this morning and had a good flow of the spirit—baptised 21. In afternoon confirmed and attended to the Lord’s supper.11 In afternoon went over to Waiehu to fill an appointment that I had made. Found Mr. Birch in a bad state having nearly lost the use of his speech. I preached and then returned to Wailuku leaving Bro. H. there.

29 December 1851 • Monday

Wrote to Bros. Lewis & Kipp.

30 December 1851 • Tuesday

Went over to Waiehu and called at Mr. Birch’s he was unwell and could not speak but very little; but could make out to tell me that he wanted to be baptised as he believed it was a necessary ordinance and he thought it best to obey it. I went up and told Bro. H. and Mr. Rice and we carried him down to the stream and baptised and confirmed him.

31 December 1851 • Wednesday

I went over to meeting at Waihee. Slept at at [sic] the house of Kanahunahupu12 Napela’s brother.

Footnotes

  1. [1]See Appendix 2, Item 10.

  2. [2]Cannon mistakenly wrote the year as 1852.

  3. [3]The words I said are written over no.

  4. [4]Cannon later expanded upon his return to Wailuku:

    “The time had now come for me to return; I felt impressed to do so. . . . We did not know where to go to obtain quarters for the night; for the missionary who lived there had used every means in his power to frighten the people against entertaining us. Even Napela, who had previously afforded me a home, was under heavy condemnation for his kindness towards me. I felt delicate about going to his house again, thinking, probably, he might be reluctant to entertain us in view of the opposition which would be sure to follow. When we got to the edge of the town in the hills, one of us went and prayed for the Lord to open our way and raise us up friends. . . . We felt led to go to Napela’s house, thinking that if he received us kindly we would stop with him, but if he appeared cold and distant, we would go elsewhere. We found him in conversation with four or five intelligent natives; most of whom had been classmates of his in the high-school. . . . They were questioning Napela about our principles, arguing with him upon them, he defending them to the best of his ability. Our arrival seemed most opportune; he was glad to see us, gave us a warm welcome, and soon transferred the conversation to us. . . .

    “This was the commencement of a great work in that region” (Cannon, My First Mission, 42–43).

  5. [5]Written over Paid or vice versa.

  6. [6]While sugar cane had grown wild and been enjoyed by the natives for generations, it was not until the late 1830s that the first commercial sugar operation was initiated on Maui. The California Gold Rush gave great impetus to the Maui sugar industry, and by 1851 seven sugar plantations were operating in and around Makawao. Among these was the East Maui Plantation, established at Makawao in 1850, of which Spencer was part owner and operator; and the Hali‘imaile Plantation at nearby Hali‘imaile, of which Perry obtained controlling interest in 1850. For further information, see MacLennan, “Foundations of Sugar’s Power”; Bartholomew and Bailey, Maui Remembers, 42, 120.

  7. [7]Written over Bro.

  8. [8]Phrenology is the theory that an individual’s character can be determined by examining the size and shape of his or her skull. This idea is based upon the belief that the brain consists of discrete regions that control different psychological functions and that the shape of the skull reveals the predominance of a given characteristic. Phrenology enjoyed great popularity until well into the twentieth century, when it was discredited by scientific research.

  9. [9]During the 1770s, Franz A. Mesmer developed a theory that one individual can cure the disease of another by subduing a magnetic fluid found in all animate objects, which he defined as “animal magnetism.” The process involved the creation of a trance-like state in the patient. While Mesmer’s hypothesis regarding the existence of animal magnetism had been discredited prior to 1800, the inducing of a trance-like state would continue to be known popularly as “mesmerism.” During the early nineteenth century, scientists concluded that the power of suggestion was behind this phenomenon, and in the 1840s a new word, “hypnotism,” was coined, in an effort to distance the new science from Mesmer.

  10. [10]On this day Keeler reported receiving a letter from Cannon “stateing that he had Baptised some forty at wailuku & also that he was not comeing here soon & for us to goe ahead and preach” (Keeler journal, Dec. 28, 1851).

  11. [11]The next day’s date was written and crossed out here.

  12. [12]This name was added later in pen.