The Church Historian's Press

December 1853

1 December 1853 • Thursday

Fast day to-day being the first Thursday of the month. We met at 10 o’clock. Bro. Hawkins and I spoke and we had the spirit; I felt excellently. Had a respite at noon for a short time. In afternoon Bros. Hy. and Uaua preached as well as several others; things went off quite spiritedly, and I enjoyed it the best of any meeting that I have attended in this place. The spirit was sensibly felt.

2 December 1853 • Friday

This morning we were gratified and gladdened by Bro. [Edward] Dennis handing us over $1000 cash, to be used eleven months without interest, toward procuring a press, at the end of which time to become due, or remain on interest, according to his pleasure. We (the committee) gave him a note of hand for the amount, obligating ourselves to him for the it and all expences that might accrue thereon. Bro. Hawkins and I rode up the [Nu‘uanu] valley about five miles, to meeting; we enjoyed it much. On leaving they gave us a fine lot of bananas to carry home; they are quite kind. Received a letter from Bro. Hammond, one from Bro. Allred and one from Bro. Winchester.

3 December 1853 • Saturday

Met according to the order this morning and it was a season of rejoicing to me. Wrote a long letter to the officers and Saints on Maui by request of the Bros. Allred. I endeavored to give them good counsel and write by the spirit. Wrote a letter also to Bro. Reddin A. & Redick N. Allred.

4 December 1853 • Sunday

Bible Class in morning,1 afterward Bro. Uaua preached and spoke well; Brother Hy. & I followed. Three baptised. In afternoon administered the sacrament several of the brethren spoke; I was blessed much with the spirit in teaching.

5 December 1853 • Monday

Wro I forgot to mention yesterday morning that we met early, according to the order and enjoyed it much; this morning also we met again. The Lord has evidently blessed us much, in opening up the way for us to procure the press, and I pray that his goodness may be continued and we be privileged soon, in seeing the Book of Mormon printed in the language of this people. Wrote a letter to Bro. Hammond and one in native to Bro. Napela.2

6 December 1853 • Tuesday

Attended meeting again according to the order, and felt the spirit much. Writing &c. In afternoon attended a meeting of the officers and spoke & was blessed.

7 December 1853 • Wednesday

Attended meeting this morning according to the order. Writing &c. Went up the valley, in company with Bros. Johnson, Bigler and Hawkins, to a meeting; I preached and was blessed with the spirit. Bro. Hawkins stopped here to sleep, with the intention of going over to Koolau in the morning. We went and administered to a native brother, Lililehua, who had been shockingly abused by a Portuguese sailor; he had knocked him down, kicked and jumped on him, and stabbed him in the cheek, nearly putting out one eye, and guaged [gouged] the other and hurt it very much; his head was also much swelled. I was excited to pity in looking at him, as and I prayed that the brute who abused him so cruelly might be cursed. He had been taken off by the Police to the fort, and locked up. It commenced by the sailor accusing him of having stolen the frock that he had on, from him, and while he was telling him it was not so, and that his wife had made it, and to wait and go ashore (they being on board a ship) and he would prove that it was had not been stolen, and that it was his own, he jumped on him and knocked him down.3

8 December 1853 • Thursday

Writing &c. I went to see Bro. [Ornan] Clifford who has been rather cold and negligent. He has been and is sick and I talked with him some time and I hope that the effect may be beneficial.

9 December 1853 • Friday

Writing home to Uncle and Aunt. Bro. Johnson & I attended meeting up the Valley.

10 December 1853 • Saturday

Writing &c. The steamboat [S. B. Wheeler] started to-day on a pleasure excursion round a portion of the island; she was loaded with passengers & when she returned it was the intention for her to start for the island of Kauai.4 When I learned that she left for Kauai to-day, I sat down and wrote a note to Elizabeth [Hoagland], sending her a brief account of the situation and prospects of things here, and of my unabated love and attachment to her, explaining the reason of the brevity of my letter. I intended to go to Kaneohe to meeting on the morrow, but learning from Bro. [Philip] Lewis’s letter that they had a meeting appointed on the 17th, which they wished me to attend, I thought it best to take this opportunity to go to Kauai, as there was no knowing when I might get another chance.5 Bro. [Edward] Dennis was quite kind to me, he gave me a hat and a pr. of boots, and Sis. D. [Hakuole Dennis] gave me $5, for which I pray they may be blessed of the Lord. I just got on board in time to start, and just as she was leaving Bro. [William] Uaua ran down, having just learned of my sailing, and handed me $5. We left about 5 o’clock and was soon outside the harbor, passing a schooner at the mouth of the harbor as though she had been lying at anchor. As the evening advanced I began to feel the effects of the motion and had to lie down to keep from vomiting. I lay on a sofa all night, and had to vomit frequently, which weakened me very much. We arrived at Nawiliwili about 8 o’clock and landed at 9. The passage was made much pleasanter on a steamboat than it would have been on a sailing vessel and although the passage cost more, yet I preferred it to lying sick tossing for a day or two, probably, on a sailing vessel.

11 December 1853 • Sunday

When I landed this morning I found some brethren who were intending to hold meeting, but as I felt very unwell I thought I would make the best of my way to Lihue, about 2 miles, where Bro. [Albion] Burnham resided. I found Bro. & Sis. B. [Mary Burnham] and the children all well, and they appeared glad to see me. It I reminded me of times long past on Maui when we spent many pleasant hours together, and it was with pleasure that I again met them, it felt like getting home. We had considerable conversation together and Bro. B. <& I> took a walk over the [Lihue] plantation and knocked some oranges of[f] some trees which were growing there—they grew very luxuriantly.6 The sugar mill is the best I have seen in the country. The grinding is done by <three> cast iron rollers—two below and one above—which are driven by a water power or a steam engine, as the necessity may demand. The juice runs through a spout into a receiver from which it is pumped and carried in a spout overhead into the boiling house, into the boilers which are elevated, and of which there are two sets. Every thing is in the most improved style. There wa is a splendid dam. Crops have not been good these two last seasons. The cane ripens in a year here, but is not as good as at Makawao, where it takes 18 months or two years to ripen.

12 December 1853 • Monday

Reading &c.

13 December 1853 • Tuesday

14 December 1853 • Wednesday

Bros. Lewis, [William] McBride and [William] Farrer arrived about noon; they were well and <had been> blessed in their labors. They spoke of having seen a piece of land on the other side of the island [near Kealia], belonging to Haalelea, which they thought the most suitable of any place they had had [sic] heard of, or seen, for the gathering of the saints. We attended meeting at Nawiliwili, but few in attendance. I preached. Returned to Bro. B’s. Wrote to Bros. [Benjamin F.] Johnson & [Henry] Bigler.

15 December 1853 • Thursday

We took leave of Bro. & Sis. B. this morning with regret, and started for Koloa, where we arrived a little after noon. We found Bro. [J. W. H.] Kauwahi here and he gave us a hearty welcome. I like the appearance of this island very much, fruit is more abundant, timber more easily procured and plentiful and more arable land than Maui for the same amount of distance. They were very picturesque the views we had to day in travelling. Had a meeting this afternoon, which I enjoyed very much—I preached followed by Bros. Farrer and Kauwahi, and we were blessed with the spirit. We had a bathe in the ocean this evening.

16 December 1853 • Friday

Writing &c.

17 December 1853 • Saturday

Raining but as we had a meeting appointed to-day for <at> Lawai, Bro. F. and I thought we would go over there. Bro. Kauwahi furnished us with horses. In afternoon we held meeting a few of us having got together among the rest Bro. Kauwahi and wife, and Bro. Hosea his wife’s brother, an elder in the church. I spoke, and was blessed with the spirit, and was followed by Bros. Farrer and Kauwahi, who also were blessed.7 We stopped all night, as also did Bro. K. & wife on account of the bad roads and the weather, it being between three and four miles back to Koloa. This branch numbers 69 members—the place is in a kind of valley and there is only four or five houses to be seen.

18 December 18538 • Sunday

Rose this morning and held early meeting—Bro. Farrer preached; a pretty good attendance. Between ten and eleven the people assembled for public meeting, in number about 150. Yesterday and To day had been appointed as days of for a general meeting of all the branches, but the weather and roads were so very bad, that the people could not, generally, get together. I spoke on the Book of Mormon, and was followed by Bro. Kauwahi. In afternoon we attended to the sacrament, and I continued my remarks on the press and printing the Book of Mormon and other works, necessary for the exaltation of this people, and also on the prophecies and the great events that were to be brought to pass in this dispensation. The Spirit of the Lord rested mightily upon me, and I spoke with power; language and ideas flowing very rapidly and I was filled with rejoicing and the spirit of prophesy. The feelings I have at such times are delightful and beyond description, and I almost feel more than human; I bore a very powerful testimony to them of the truth of this gospel. I am almost frightened, when not <immediately> under the influences of the spirit, of the testimonies I have sometimes borne, not that I doubt their truth, but for fear that I might use stronger language, than, perhaps, I would be warranted in using, but I endeavor to be led by the spirit, and, therefore, I feel that it is all right. I feel that the Lord’s goodness is past finding out, for he blesses me when I know that it is done independent of any good and meritorious actions on my part and I tremble lest I shall not magnify these blessings in advancing his cause for I realize that every blessing received by me, will only add to my condemnation if I done do not magnify them aright. May the Lord help me at all times as it is very apparent to me that I am weak.—Bro. Kauwahi also spoke with power—he is a mighty man and one capable of doing a vast amount of good if he will only walk aright. He comprehends principle as readily as any man I ever saw, either white or native, and is also the most gifted speaker among the natives and is very apt to teach. Bro. Wm. [Farrer] also spoke and was blessed. There was one baptized to-day and one yesterday evening—they were both males. We returned this evening to Koloa. It has <been> fair to-day altho’ rainy in the morn.

19 December 1853 • Monday

Busily engaged to-day writing papers &c. for Bro. McBride to take to the coast with him, authorizing him to collect means &c. for the press, and also a paper signed by Bro. Lewis as President, authorizing him to preach <& also> transact business for this mission, &c. While in Honolulu Bros. Johnson, Bigler, Hawkins and I were conversing on the best measures to be taken, when the time came to release the elders, for them to get home; and it was proposed by Elder Hawkins as a good plan, for one of the brethren, who expected to go home, to go ahead with Bro. Dennis to the coast, and prepare means for the rest to get <on> as quick as released; or, if blessed in collecting means, to labor on and let them keep on in their labors here, until the Book of Mormon should be printed, and we all prepared to go home: the brethren did not wish to go home until we all could go together.9 Looking at things naturally, it does not seem probable that if the brethren Bigler, Hawkins, Farrer and Keeler should be released at the spring conference, (as they expect to be,) that they will be able to raise the necessary amount, some $200 or $300, to carry them on to the coast, as <all> the means that can be collected from <the Saints> will be devoted to the press &c. If we intended to get through [to Utah] the next season, wisdom seems to dictate the necessity of all, getting or at least a sufficient part, getting to the coast as quick as released, as the opportunities would be better for raising the needful [revenue]. We all saw the propriety of some such move being made, and we thought that Bro. McBride would be the most suitable man, as his health and the difficulties which lay in the way of his acquiring the language, made his absence less felt than one who had both good health and the use of the language: it was also Bro. McB’s desire to labor among those of his own language.

20 December 1853 • Tuesday

This morning we bade Bro. McB. farewell and started for Hanapepe, where we had appointment for this afternoon. We arrived there about 3 o’clock, p.m., it is about 8 miles from Koloa. They had built a lanai (a bowery) to meet in. I preached on the first principles and had excellent liberty, for which I felt very thankful; Bro. Wm. also bore testimony.

21 December 1853 • Wednesday

Held meeting this morning; Bro. Wm. preached and I followed; We had a very good meeting, and confirmed three, that were baptized last night and this morning. After breakfast we crossed Hanapepe river, quite a good sized stream, and travelled about 6 miles and came to Waimea river, a broad, placid stream, the largest I have seen since I left the continent; on the other side of which, is situated what is called the town of Waimea. There is a roadstead here, affording tolerable anchorage for vessels; it is recognized as a port of entry. This is the first <place> in this group where Capt. [James] Cook landed—they thought that it was a forest, and that it was Lono, who one of their old gods, who had come back; they having had a tradition handed down to them: which taught them to believe that he would return, and in consequence of this, Cook is known at the present time by the name of Lono. There were three gods who came from Kahiki, (foreign lands,) to these islands, a long time ago; they dwelt among the people and were seen frequently in the form of men; they afterwards left, and for some reason they (the people) expected Lono to return—their names were Kane, Kaneloa, and Lono.—While on the opposite side <of the> river from the town, before crossing, we went down to look at an old fort which was built by some Russians, many years ago. It covers about two acres of land; it is in a dilapidated situation; the guns, which are not many, are all in a wretched condition, the carriages rotten and broken down, all going to decay.10—The brethren ferried us over the river in a canoe. We stopped at a house belonging to Samuela, Bro. Kauwahi’s father-in-law, and where Bro. Hosea, S’s son and brother-in-law to Bro. Kauwahi, was stopping; his father, altho’ not a member of the church, having given us in his charge, and had also had the house prepared for us <Bro. W. & myself> to stop, and do all at the Book of Mormon necessary. They appear to be an agreeable family, and, I think that Bro. Kauwahi has made a very good choice of a wife.

22 December 1853 • Thursday

Variously engaged. Held meeting up the valley in the afternoon; a tolerable congregation; I preached. This evening we had a long conversation with a Mr. Price on the principles of truth. I have some hopes that he will yet understand.

23 December 1853 • Friday

Writing &c. to Bro. Keeler, Hawaii.

24 December 1853 • Saturday

Commenced reading the translation of the Book of Mormon, in company with Bros. Farrer and Kauwahi, for the purpose of correcting any inaccuracies that might be in the translation and to see that no words or sentences had been left out.11

25 December 1853 • Sunday

Christmas day. Visions of the enjoyments and pleasures of home floated through my mind to-day;—Bro. Wm. Farrer went to meeting at Hanapepe this morning, leaving Bro. Lewis and me here;—our residence was the old prison house of this place, it being vacated in consequence of all the law breakers being sent to Lihue;12 our dinner consisted of a calabash of poi, and a dish of boiled sweet potatoes and pork. Truly it requires the spirit of the Lord to enable an elder thus to isolate himself, from all that is near, dear, and attractive to him on earth, and take up his abode among a semi-barbarous people and in an out of the way place like this, where there is no a attraction, except to do the will of the Father,—for one who has ever known the pleasures and true happiness of a life among the saints, and yet under these circumstances, I spent a very happy day. I preached morning and afternoon on the first principles; I never preached better to my own satisfaction on these subjects, and, although laboring under a heavy cold, I was blessed with strength and an abundant flow of the spirit and of teaching; the saints appeared to be filled, and all rejoiced in the blessings of the new & everlasting covenant. Three were confirmed who had been baptized.

26 December 1853 • Monday

Reading manuscript.

27 December 1853 • Tuesday

do. also officer meeting.

28 December 1853 • Wednesday

do. attended afternoon do., & preached and was blessed.

29 December 1853 • Thursday

do. ″ officer do. in morning.13

30 December 1853 • Friday


31 December 1853 • Saturday

do. After retireing to bed this evening Bro. Kauwahi returned from Koloa bringing some letters and a paper for us; there were several letters from for me—three from the valley, one from Bro. Johnson, Honolulu; one from Bro. Lynn [Gustaf Linn], Hawaii, and two from Bro. [Francis] Hammond, Lahaina. Those from the valley were written by Uncle [John Taylor]—dated May 29th, 1853, the first I have received from him since he left St. Louis on his way to Europe—one from President Brigham Young—dated Sept. 30th, in answer to one written by me, June 14th, 1853—and one written by Chas. [Charles] and Mary Alice [Lambert], of same date; there was also a short letter enclosed in Uncle’s written by Geo. [George Taylor.] Uncle’s was filled with expressions of love and apologizing for not having written before he having been very much crowded with business—he had written many times from Europe and <had> sent papers at different times and several numbers of the “Millenlial Star” which I never have received, stating the progress and increase of the work in Europe—he had published the Book of Mormon in both the French and German languages, the French could be read on one side of the page and the German on the other; he had also published a paper (the Star of Deseret [Étoile du Déséret]) in French, and one in German (Zion’s banner [Zion’s Panier].).14 in German He had been enabled to fill his mission with honor. He approved of the course I had taken in stopping on the islands and said I should be blessed and that I had his prayers continually. It was an excellent letter and one that I had been desiring much to receive and I prized it accordingly. I desire to have his love and confidence, because he has been a second father to me and he has my affection—he it was that first brought the gospel to my father’s house and was the instrument in the hands of the Lord in bringing us to a knowledge of its glorious principles the most glorious event in my life and the most glorious blessing that could be placed in the reach of man. George’s letter told me of the improvement in the city and the growth of Angus [Cannon], David [H. Cannon], Joseph [Taylor], Mary Ann [Taylor] and Leonora [Cannon], and telling me how glad all would be to see me. Aunt [Leonora Taylor] wrote a few lines in G’s [George Taylor’s letter] to me telling me that she was tolerably well though not able to do much; she says prospects are good of being surrounded with a large circle of nephews and nieces. They want to see me. Bro. Brigham’s letter was cheering and contained some news in relation to the situation of things there; the Indians had not made any depredations since the 13th inst. (Sept.); there had four <brethren been> killed by them; they were going to commence walling in the city with a wall of mud about 12 feet high with bastions and culverts.15 All the settlements were fortifying themselves. There was a good disposition manifested among the brethren to pay tithing and comply with all the requirements of the Lord. In relation to printing the Book of Mormon he said “<but> be careful not to incur urge on the printing, or any expense faster than your means there will warrant.” He also spoke about the gathering that his counsel to the natives “on the subject of gathering, until a way opens, for them to exercise faith and patience, and situate themselves on the islands to the best advantage that local laws and circumstances will admit of.” He desired me to write whenever my judgment dictated. He prayed the Lord to bless me and the brethren here. I felt to rejoice that I had the confidence and prayers of my brethren and especially of him who holds the keys on the earth and who stands at the head of this dispensation.16 Bro. Chas.’s letter was short, they were all well. Bro. Hammond’s letter was written in answer to mine containing the suggestions in relation to Bro. MacBride going to the coast. Bro. [Nathan] Tanner was there also, & their views agreed on the subject. They did not coincide in the idea of sending to the coast, they thought that the trial ought to be made among the saints and they be the ones to furnish us with means among whom our time and means have been spent, and they thought that they (the saints) would rejoice to do all that was necessary; again, they thought that it would be establishing a precedent for others, and <who> would act Bro. Mac for them; the Lord had sent us, and they had faith to believe that He would open our way; and they would hate when they got home and telling about the Sandwich Island Mission <& its success &c.> and be asked how they got their means to have to say that they had to send to the coast or to the “Poor Fund” [Perpetual Emigrating Fund] to get them home;17 they desired for the honor of this mission not [to] call on foreign aid, and that it would form part of the mission to raise means to pay our way home; another thing was, the idea was already too prevalent that we were a church that needed no help in monetary matters, if we should get a fit out elsewhere, when they got ready to go home, we would be brought up as an example which they ought to follow, by seeking their fit out elsewhere, and not burthen <them (the saints)> to furnish it.—I felt bad sorry that we had not received this letter before Bro. McBride left as I for one felt that I could not consent for Bro. Mc.B. to go unless with approbated by all the brethren, we were the parties who would be the recipients of the means and I would rather go without such help and trust to the Lord to open my way from here than to advise a step that would be <thought> unwise by any of the brethren. When the idea first originated, it was not intended that the person who should go should seek any assistance from others, but that he should go relying on his own exertions and the blessing of the Lord, and if, in the providence of the Almighty, he should be so blessed as to accumulate sufficient for the complete fit out of all, independent of all their bodily assistance, then they could stay and labor here in this field until the proper time to return. I may have lacked faith in the matter; I know that the Lord is all powerful, and that He can furnish ways & means where least expected, for I have been fed and clothed comfortably, and my wants [have] been supplied from time to time, when prospects were very unpromising—I thought that if we raised means enough among the saints to start the press and clear it from all liabilities, in their present state of poverty and ignorance, without mentioning any thing else, that we would be accomplishing all that we could expect, but yet I know that if they would implicitly obey our counsel, they could do that, and fit us out too, and not be any poorer in the end.18

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December 1853, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed July 19, 2024