Monday, April 19, 2010

Transcription: Mott Memoir, Part 12

1 March 1848, the Honolulu Friend announcing recent passenger arrivals.  The Samoset is mentioned at the bottom.

"The American Consul at that time was Mr. Turrill.  His wife was a pleasant lady and his daughter Lizzie a bright interesting girl.  She was about my age and we soon became intimate friends.

Dr. Judd's seemed to be in an intermediate place between the Missionaries and the other set.  Dr. Jud had come to Honolulu as a Missionary but being a man of great ability and force of character had become Prime Minister and was really the head of the government.   He had a handsome house in Nuuana Valley.  His three daughters, Libbie, Nellie and Laura, girls about our ages though not allowed to dance, visited among the society people.  They called on us and were very friendly.  When they heard that Evy and I had never been on horse back, declared we must learn as that was one of the principal amusements in Honolulu.  Accordingly one morning they came back bringing an extra horse and took first Evy and then myself for a ride.  Fanny had been accustomed to riding in Mexico.  The horse was gentle and I was not afraid but enjoyed the ride very much.  We made riding habits and rode out frequently. 

Mr. Baker had a pretty little black horse and as he seldom rode himself he said whenever I wished to ride, I could have his horse.  I soon became very fond of little Dick.  He was both gentle and spirited, he seemed to know me after awhile, and was just the right size for me.  I felt as safe on his back as in a chair.  He was so small when he was in the yard I could put my arms around his neck and hug him.  "Dear little Dick" I wish I could be fourteen again and have a ride on him.

The Missionaries had established a boarding school for the young chiefs, where they were not only educated but taught to dress and behave like civilized people.  Prince Alexander, the heir to the crown, his brother David and Princess Berenice were the most important of these young chiefs at that time.  They were friends of John Dominis and the Judds so we soon became acquainted.  David, afterwards King Kaluakua, was about ten years old then.  I saw him once or twice but did not pay much attention to him.  Princess Berenice was a very pretty girl about sixteen, no darker than some brunettes, with black curls and good features.  Some years afterwards she married a young man named Bishop, and American in business in Honolulu.  I remember meeting him when we were there.  He was quite handsome and generally liked.  Prince Alexander was not quite fifteen, but looked older.  He was tall and well proportioned, not darker than a Mexican, and bright and intelligent.  They all spoke English perfectly and were well mannered.

When some of the young people arranged a picnic in one of the valleys, the Princes' and Princess Berenice were generally of the party.  We all went on horseback and as Prince Alexander had a kind of boyish fancy for me we usually rode together.  The Hawaiians were fearless riders and the chiefs had fine horses.  Once Prince Alexander invited me to go out for a ride with him and brought one of his own horses for me.  It was a beautiful creature, a light bay, glossy as satin and very easy in its gait.  Prince Alexander was betrothed to the little Princess Emma but she was a child about ten years old and he paid no attention to her then.  When he became King they were married.  Queen Emma was a beautiful woman and very popular.

The picnics in the valley were very pleasant.  There were always the same young people with whom we were most friendly.  Miss Kate Pratt, who though unmarried was much older always went with us as a chaperon.  She was a fine rider and very lively and good natured.

Honolulu then was merely a pretty little country town, the houses scattered and surrounded with trees and flowers.  The valleys outside the town were beautiful.  We always started early and by the time the sun was too hot we were in the shade of the trees and we had lunch under the trees.  Once the men cooked a little pig native fashion.  They made a little pit  in the ground, lit a fire and when it had burned down to embers they wrapped the pig in plantain leaves, laid it on a flat stone that had been placed on the embers and covered it with earth.  When taken out it was very tender and nice.  After we had eaten it the boys declared it was a dog, but we would not believe them.  I have never known whether it was a pig or a dog.  However it was so good I suppose it does not matter.

Once when we were having beautiful moonlight nights we thought it would be lovely to ride by moonlight so the next evening we (Evy, Fanny and I) with our escorts, one of whom was Captain Spencer an old sea Captain, stated out early in the evening.  We rode up Nuuanu Valley to the Pali expecting to have the full moonlight light us home, but it grew dark and the moon seemed to have disappeared.  It was so dark we were obliged to ride very slowly as we could hardly see our way.  The air grew quite cool and I felt cold as I wore a linen habit.  Old Captain Spencer took off his coat and in spite of remonstrances insisted on my putting it on.  When we reached the house John came out to help me off the horse and laughed at the funny appearance I made in the coat.  There was a strange gentleman in the parlor.  John held my arm and dragged me in much against my will and introduced me in that absurd costume.  The next day we heard there had been an eclipse of the moon and everybody laughed at us.  Even the Honolulu paper had an article about "A Moonlight Ride."

The King held a reception in the Palace one evening where all the respectable people of Honolulu could assemble and pay their respects to his Majesty and the Queen.  The Palace was a large frame building with a garden and a tall flag post from which fluttered the flag of Hawaii.  We attended the reception and were presented to the royal couple.  I do not remember much about the interior of the Palace except that there was a large room with a slightly raised platform.  I suppose I should say dais, at one end, on which were two handsome arm chairs the King and Queen were seated.  The King wore a gorgeous uniform and the Queen a handsome silk dress, but they looked like dressed up dolls, they seemed so still and uncomfortable.  All our young friends were there and when the Royal couple with some of the older people went to refreshments we remained in the reception room.  Prince Alexander took my hand and leading me up the dais placed me in the Queen's chair.  The other girls laughed and came to salute me as Queen, but I heard a sound as if their Majesties were returning and sprang up in a hurry, so my reign was a short one.  Still I can boat of the great honor of having been placed in a Queen's throne by the Prince Royal."

1 comment:

  1. I wrote about the Haley family connections today at:

    Love your post today!


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