April 11, 1820 – Permission to Remain

He Huliau: Intersecting Worlds 1820 – 1825

After a week, Liholiho conveyed his decision that the missionaries could remain in Hawai‘i for a year, though directed them to split up between Kailua-Kona and Honolulu. The missionary settlement had raised his suspicions, but both John Young, favorite British advisor to Kamehameha I, and Hewahewa, kahuna nui who had supported the overthrow of the kapu, advocated for the missionaries’ request. Ka‘ahumanu, Kalanimoku, prime minister who had traveled from Kawaihae on the Thaddeus, and Ke’eaumoku, also known as Gov. Cox, all participated in the decision.

“Some conjectures, it appears have been started (from what source we know not) that Great Britain might not be pleased with our settling here, and some intimations given that the Missionaries … had monopolized both the trade and government of the Society Islands. These new and unexpected difficulties we endeavored to obviate as well as we could. … It seems to be the pleasure of the King and some of the chiefs that we should all settle down at Karooah [Kailua], immediately under their eye.”
Journal of the Sandwich Island Mission, Vol. 1, pp. 29-30


“The King has given permission for some of the Mission family to stay here, and the rest to go to the Island of Woahoo. It is his request that the Physician with two of the native youths should stay here, and brother Thurston is appointed to stay with them. It is indeed trying to be separated from our dear brethren and sisters, and especially from our Physician. But it seems to be the will of God, and we ought cheerfully to submit, if in doing so we may be more useful”
— Journal of Mercy Whitney, dated April 11, 1820


“They agreed that the missionaries might remain on Hawai‘i for a year without interference with their worship or teaching, and if their work was good, they might remain permanently. … No one begrudged their [missionaries] coming … It was the other foreigners, local traders and settlers from foreign lands, who tried to stir up trouble for them. They advised the chiefs to send the missionaries away and spread the rumor that the cellars which they dug under their houses were to store powder in so that some day they might take over the government.”
— S.M. Kamakau, Ruling Chiefs of Hawaii (Revised Edition), p. 247.


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