Ellis, William (1794-1872)
Narrative of a Tour Through Hawaii, or, Owhyhee; with remarks on the History, Traditions, Manners, Customs, and Language of the Inhabitants of the Sandwich Islands.
Narrative of a Tour Through Hawaii, or, Owhyhee; with remarks on the History, Traditions, Manners, Customs, and Language of the Inhabitants of the Sandwich Islands
Important Early Exploration of the Big Island of Hawaii and Kilauea Volcano
Missionary William Ellis traveled with a small group from Tahiti on the schooner Mermaid to the Sandwich Islands. On the same voyage, another small schooner called Prince Regent with six cannons was presented to King Kamehameha II. They arrived in Honolulu on April 16, 1822. After a visit to Oahu, Ellis was invited to stay in the islands. He returned to Tahiti in August 1822, gathered his family and sailed back to the Sandwich Islands on the Active on February 4, 1823.
He then joined American Missionaries Asa Thurston, Artemas Bishop and Joseph Goodrich on a tour of the islands of Hawaii to investigate suitable sites for mission stations. On the way he stopped at Maui and met Queen Keopuolani. On their visit to Kailua-Kona, they met the Governor of the island Kuakini, known as ‘John Adams’.
They visited Kealakekua Bay where Captain Cook was killed. They also toured historic site Pu’uhonoua o Honaunau. They traveled south past the Mauna Loa volcano. They were the first Europeans to visit the caldera of the Kilauea volcano which was active at the time. On the eastern side they visited Hilo and Waipi’o Valley and some of the party continued up snow covered Mauna Kea. Some of the important missions set up as a result of this trip including Mokuaikaua Church, Imiola Church, Kelakekua Church and the Hali Church. Returning to Honolulu Ellis learned the Hawaiian language then transcribed using the Roman alphabet and established a printing press.
H. Fisher, Son and P. Jackson, London, 1826, First Edition, Octavo, 442 pages including the appendix ‘Remarks on the Hawaiian Language’. Complete with seven- well struck plates and 3 panel folding “Map of Hawaii, the largest of the Sandwich Islands; Improved from Vancouver’s Survey” published on March 31, 1826. Re-bound in style with mottled full calf, gilt edge and border treatment, highly tooled spine with 5 raised bands and ornately decorated in gilt, red and green Moroccan leather title and author labels. Period marbled endpapers, text and plates with light periodic foxing but much brighter than usually found. A very clean and presentable First Edition.