|About the Book|
Hawaii Nei 128 Years Ago, by Archibald Menzies,was published in 1920 by Mr. W. F. Wilson of Honolulu, to make available to the public an account of David Douglas visits to Hawaii. The volume of some 200 pages, profusely illustrated, presents theMoreHawaii Nei 128 Years Ago, by Archibald Menzies,was published in 1920 by Mr. W. F. Wilson of Honolulu, to make available to the public an account of David Douglas visits to Hawaii. The volume of some 200 pages, profusely illustrated, presents the journal of Archibald Menzies on his three visits to these islands in the years 1792 to 1794 while he was acting as surgeon and naturalist on board H. M. S. Discovery under Captain Vancouver. Menzies had been here twice before.The first of the journal relates of a period 28 years before the first missionaries arrived and 33 years before Ellis and his companions made the circuit of Hawaii. Menzies had an excellent opportunity to study the islands at a time when taboos were rife and conditions were still very much the same as at the date of Captain Cooks visits. His observations on the leading Hawaiian kings and chiefs and the primitive manners and customs of the people are presented in a very interesting manner. The modern spelling of Hawaiian names has happily been adopted by the publisher, which greatly facilitates the reading of the journal.The reader may be somewhat disappointed, however, in not finding in the journal a greater wealth of botanical description, especially in view of the fact that 19 species and varieties of Hawaiian plants, including one of the famous tree ferns, have been named after Menzies.Menzies did much, however, to improve the flora of the islands for the immediate benefit of the early Hawaiians. for he distributed vegetable seed which he brought with him from England and landed young orange trees, sprouted on board his vessel from seed secured at the Cape. On his later voyage he had the satisfaction of seeing these growing successfully.In connection with the introduction of cattle and sheep by Captain Vancouver, an interesting episode is related in the journal concerning their first progeny. In 1793 the first calf was born in Kona and the natives, in their eagerness to show it to Kamehameha, carried it overland to Hilo, feeding it during the several days of the journey on fish and water. Menzies relates that the calf survived this separation from its mother and even waxed fat on the unusual diet.Probably the most interesting facts brought out by the volume are that Menzies was the first educated white man to explore the interior of Hawaii and West Maui, the first to scale Hualalai, and the first white man, and very likely the first human being, to reach the summit of Mauna Loa. His accounts of these adventures make verv good reading.This book published in 1920 has been reformatted for the Kindle and may contain an occasional defect from the original publication or from the reformatting.