The sailing master's log of the 66-day passage from Philadelphia to Honolulu. The number of passengers and crew totaled 32, including four black servants for Mr. Samuel G. Wilder, owner of the vessel. The principal cargo was 750 tons of coal to fuel the steam engines. The ship would burn about seven tons of coal, traveling 200 to about 250 knots at a rate of about eight to ten knots. Von Schmidt also carried a letter of introduction addressed to a firm in Rio de Janiero in the event he needed to purchase more coal.
During the first three days out at sea, the S. S. Kinau ran headlong into the path of hurricane. All but seven chickens were lost, the pigs were thrown down the scuttle to between decks, and the vegetable locker was smashed to pieces and thrown overboard. "Sea in all directions and of fearfull size and velocity." On 29 September the ship had reached Patagonia. Entering the Straits of Magellan, the captain notes a number of boats. The ship was anchored at Angosto, a small land-locked harbor on the Tierra del Fuego shore. The captain takes the time to observe that the land was capable of "supporting a thrifty race of hardy people." They encounter several natives in a canoe who approached the ship to do some trading. Most wore seal skins, and the women were apparently bare-breasted. "Being of a very well developed fiture the exercise of paddling and steering involving reaching far over the side afforded an unrivalled opportunity of exhibiting nature's gifts (in the line of Busts, etc.) to the very best advantage." They traded tobacco—but not whiskey —for a few otter skins, a child's bow, and a bone spearhead. As the ship approaches the end of its journey, the captain has the crew sprucing up the exterior by painting and holystoning the decks.
The owner of the vessel, Samuel Gardner Wilder, first arrived in Hawaii in 1856; a year later he married the daughter of Dr. G. P. Judd and was thereafter prominent in business affairs in Hawaii. He was pioneer in the shipping of guano from the South Pacific to New York to be used as fertilizer. He established his own company and set up a private shipping line as well as railways. King Lunalilo appointed Wilder to the House of Nobles in 1872. King Kalakaua made Wilder minister of the interior between 1878 to 1880.
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