Journal of a Residence in the Sandwich Islands during the Years 1823, 1824, 1825….

The author is a somewhat sanctimonious American missionary who nonetheless enjoyed a conversation with Lord Byron, a naval officer and cousin of the poet whose morals he detested. There is a good deal of material towards the end of the book on providing religious literature, writing tablets, hymn-books, etc. for Sandwich Island natives in their native language—literacy training for the reading of the Bible.

p. 164, describes the “scale of prejudice” against the Missionaries on their arrival, citing the powerful queen Kaahumanu as exceedingly jealous of the teachers: She long persisted in her refusals to attempt to learn to read or write, and was but recently induced for the first time to lay aside her cards for a few minutes, and to repeat the alphabet after a Missionary: since then, she has, however, become an assiduous scholar; and has made her books and slate the principal sources of amusement.

p. 257: Jan. 31. [1825] For the last fortnight there has been an unusual and increasing demand for books in the native language. We distributed fifty this morning, before breakfast; and since then, three times that number have been called for. But our stock is entirely exhausted, and we have been compelled to send away hundreds of persons, with the promise of a supply as soon as a new edition shall be printed.

p. 322-23: After dinner we devote an hour to miscellaneous reading, of which the periodical publications sent from America, and our united libraries, form a tolerable collection

p. 356, aboard Blonde sailing among the Hawaiian Islands: The library is in the after-cabin, and is of a character you would more expect to meet in a clergyman’s study than in a post-captain’s cabin; consisting chiefly of British classical writers, with standard works on morals and religion.