Annette Whitney married the great American naturalist William Henry Dall (1845-1927) in 1880. The present letter, written to a close friend or relative, offers an extensive and enthusiastic description of a tour around the islands in the summer of 1909.
“...it is rainbow land here, full of glamour and fascination. We were in luck to have inbound Mr. Campbell commissioner of public works who was taking the hydrographic party on to Maui. He told us many things of interest as we sailed along this island – pointed out the fortifications in progress on Diamond Head – Molaki, the leper island loomed up ... We also saw Lanai a very beautiful island most lovely in the afternoon lights ... We made three stops at Maui. ... When we awoke in the morning we were alongside the island of Hawaii – the fertile bluff side that has numerous waterfalls. We landed at Hilo in time about 10:30 AM ... a sloop met us and took us up to Demosthenes Hotel!!! Queer in this tropical land. We afterwards learned the owner is Greek, a brother of the Volcano House man....[visit to Rainbow Falls, a manual training school, travel to the Volcano House by train, visit to the Volcanoes:] “our guide heated the coffee on a hot crack in the lava where we were and it was good with sandwiches and we had hot dinner on our return... There are some queer freak piles of lava still standing near the edges of the old crater where one gazes down into the seething caldron [sic]. The crater has been especially active of late – good luck for us – and we could see distinctly the outline of the crater as night advanced.”
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