136
136
Bruce, Henry
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136
Bruce, Henry
Estimation
5 0007 000
Lot. Vendu 4,200 USD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT

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Fine Books and Manuscripts Including A Private Collection of Historical Hawaiiana

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New York

Bruce, Henry
Autograph letter unsigned by a Henry Bruce, Capt. of Imogene (address panel docked "HB"), marked "No. 37," 17 pages (most 9 x 7 1/4 in.; 230 x 183 mm), "Imogene at Sea, 1300 Miles north of the Society Islands," 26 October 1837, to Miss Bruce of Notting Hill (salutation to "My dearest Children"), Kensington, first nine pages cross-written over an earlier letter; final leaf with address panel worn with minor loss.
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Description

A lengthy and compelling narrative of Hawaii, written aboard a ship "Jogging along toward Tahiti" in search of "a ship bound home." Captain Bruce seems of temperate disposition, advising his children that even mission work must wait its appointed time. He explains that the inhabitants of the Marquesas, from where he had last embarked, "tho' living 'without god in the world'—are nevertheless blessed with advantages in a soil that yields abundance without cultivation, and in a climate so mild and genial that clothing would only be an encumbrance; so we see that the ways of God are inscrutable and past finding out, that 'the isles shall wait for his love' but that all things are in his hands; and that we, who have the Gospel for our guide must be doubly watchful over ourselves that we do not give 'cause to offend' even to these poor Heathens, but look patiently and steadfastly for God's appointed time and 'not weary in well-doing.'"

On Oahu, however, Bruce reports that much "well-doing" had already been accomplished: "here the prevelance of Christianity and the progress of civilization and improvement are obvious, the people are clothed, orderly and docile, you see well furnished shops or stores, houses neatly built and kept; and you hear the Bell toll for Church or school as the case may be. …"

With the British Consul Mr. Charlton, Bruce visted a school where about eighty Hawaiian boys and girls "are wll instructed in Religion; Reading writing, Arithmetic, Geography, History and work." He also met with ruler of the islands: "The king of the Sandwich Islands was absent at the time of our arrival, but on being informed immediately hastened to meet and welcome me; he is a young man of about 34, half black, and intelligent looking, his name is 'Kauikeaouli,' his title is 'Tamehameha the 3rd; he is married but his Queen does not appear in public life; his half sister 'Kinau' is Queen Dowager and governs him which I told him he ought not to allow, but to rule for himself; he is an idle youth, and gets out of the way whenever he can. …"

After a long account of current mission projects, Bruce reverts to being a tourist, writing that he "was extremely desirous … as were all aboard, to visit the island and spot where the intrepid and lamented Navigator 'Cook' met his untimely end. … On Sunday 15th at noon we anchored in the desired place, 'Karakakora bay' island of Owehynee—now called 'Hawaii'; and after performing the afternoon Church service, at half past one I stood on the spot of Cook's fall; it is a mass of black lava rock close to the water where he waited the butting in of his boat during the scuffle with the natives; but which boat was too late to save his valuable life. The Governor of this place—whose name is Adams—was not here so that I wished to wait upon the next in authority—the Chief of the District—who is a female, 'Kapeolani' by name; with this view, and to see the Missionary establishment which is a branch of the other, I toiled 2 miles up a steep steep hill, under a burning sun, upon a road made of, and upon, lava and on reaching the place, found that every body was in aftn. church, so I wended my way back again and returned onboard; half way up this hill is a Memento (of which I send you a sketch) [see next lot] put up by the Blonde on the spot where Cook's flesh was taken from his bones and burnt; after he had been carried up there.

Fine Books and Manuscripts Including A Private Collection of Historical Hawaiiana

|
New York