Sunday, June 27, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
“ ‘What do you do here, Mr. Mannini?’ said the captain.
‘Oh, we play cards, get drunk, smoke—do anything we’re a mind to.’
‘Don’t you want to come aboard and work?’
‘Aole! Aole make make makou i ka hana. Now, got plenty money; no good, work. Mamule, money pau—all gone. Ah! Very good, work!—maikai, hana hana nui!’
‘But you’ll spend all your money in this way,’ said the captain.
‘Aye! Me know that. By-‘em-by money pau—all gone; then Kanaka work plenty.'”
There is a nice sense given here of the Hawaiians' agency; they refused to work for the haole captain, choosing instead to enjoy their earnings in whatever way they pleased. Surely they appeared to be in no rush to return home to Hawaiʻi with their savings, although their families back home might have wished that they would.
My favorite image from Dana's book is of one night in San Diego when itinerant laborers of all ethnicities came together to sing and dance the songs of their native countries for each other. Dana recorded that 2 Englishmen, 3 Yankees, 2 Scotchmen, 2 Welshmen, 1 Irishman, 3 Frenchmen, 1 Dutchmen, 1 Austrian, 2-3 Spaniards, 6 Spanish-American creoles, 2 Native Chileans, 1 African-American, 1 African-American "mulatto", 20 Italians, 20 Hawaiians, 1 Marquesan, and 1 Tahitian all attended, performed, and shared their heritage as part of this multicultural extravaganza! Oh, how I wish I could have been there, for that; so it is no wonder to me that these Hawaiian men sought out such remarkable experiences, just as I would have...
View of the historic "Plaza Church" in the Pueblo de Los Angeles. Dana, and maybe some Hawaiians, too, would have seen and perhaps visited this church during the 1830s when Los Angeles was but a small mission town.
View of San Francisco Bay from Angel Island. Dana did not specifically mention Hawaiians living in tiny San Francisco at the time, but other data suggests that Hawaiians comprised fully 10% of San Francisco's population in the 1840s.
View of the Pacific Ocean and the beach at Santa Monica. It did not happen precisely here, but I can easily imagine the Hawaiians living in their brick oven on this beach, looking west out upon the Pacific, thinking about their home beyond the horizon.
Hawaiians in Long Island, New York
Just as Hawaiians "jumped ship" in Honolulu or Lahaina and ended up living and working on the coast of California, other Hawaiians ended up "jumping" onto whalers and finding themselves "let go" in New England and Long Island whaling ports. Few of the Hawaiian men who signed ship's articles in Honolulu to serve on the bark Alice likely knew where Cold Spring, New York, was. But after a few seasons of chasing whales across the North Pacific in the early 1860s, these Hawaiian men may have ended up there (today's Cold Spring Harbor, NY) upon the completion of their voyage. Arriving in Cold Spring would have been a homecoming for the ship's captain and mates (many of whom probably began their journey there); but for the Hawaiians, however, we can only guess what emotions they felt upon first arriving in Long Island; for some of them, it may have been their first experience of the United States. We know that some Hawaiians stayed in Cold Spring instead of returning to Hawaiʻi.