These are excerpts from newspaper articles written at the time of the Suveric’s voyage to Hawaii in 1906.
SHIP THAT ARRIVED HERE IN HAWAII 1st DEC. 1906
SUVERIC BRINGS HOPEFUL AND HAPPY CROWD
Commissioner Sargent Says They Are a Fine Lot —Many Cases of Measles
“They are a good, strong, clean and fine looking lot of people,” said F.P. Sargent, U.S. Immigration Inspector, last night at the Immigration Receiving Station, where he was superintending the feeding and the housing of the thirteen hundred and odd Portuguese passengers landed in the afternoon from the British S.S. Suveric.
“I have seen many, many shiploads of immigrants,” continued Mr. Sargent, “but must say these are the brightest and best appearing lot I have ever helped inspect. From the point of my position everything is perfectly satisfactory so far. And they are all ready to go to work. They are already inquiring where the Plantations are and how soon will it be before they can commence on their work”.
The S.S. Suveric, which left Funchal, Madeira, fifty-two days ago with the first Immigrants coming in response to the new movement of the Board of Immigration and Planters’ Association, arrived on port early yesterday morning. She was visited by the Quarantine and Immigration Officials, by Inspector Sargent, Secretary Atkinson, the Portuguese Consul, and the other interested officials, being finally docked in the Bishop slip shortly after noon.
There was a long delay before any of the immigrants were allowed ashore, the Quarantine doctors having discovered the presence of a large number of cases of measles among the children aboard, making it necessary to secure the consent of the Territorial Board of Health before any might leave the vessel. In the meanwhile the new settlers crowded the rail, their satisfaction at having arrived at the end of their long voyage shinning in their faces. This satisfaction was expressed in the cheers of many when the side of the big steamship scraped the dock and the lines were made fast.
As the landing, which it was expected they would make as soon as the vessel docked, was delayed and the long minutes dragged past with no apparent prospect of getting off the ship, many of the immigrants grew impatient, their impatience being helped out by the liberal indulgence of many in the wine being passed around. The Immigrants had fasted all day, their excitement of the sight of the near land having induced them to forego their breakfast and their anxiety to get ashore putting dinner out of their minds. In this state the effect of the wine was rapid and at one time, while the thousand excited people were jammed at the gangway, it seemed that some of the women and children would be injured in the fight that appeared to be brewing or crushed in the jam. One woman grew hysterical and had to be carried down the gangway, struggling and shouting. Fortunately nothing worse happened to mar the joy of the newcomers in their arrival at their new home.
WILD IN THEIR JOY
Finally, a few minutes before four o’clock, the members of the Board of Health gave the word that the landing might be made. Then the crowd began to stream down the gangplank, being counted as they stepped on to the wharf. The first man down jumped the last six feet, cheering as he struck the dock. Following him came a woman, then a dozen men, who hugged each other in their delight at being at last on Hawaiian soil. One young fellow turned handsprings to relieve his feelings and within a few minutes the wharf was covered with yelling people, capering about in most joyful manner possible. Nearly everyone of the Immigrants came down with their hands full. Many of them had violins and banjos, some had an armful of tin dishes, one carefully carried a bird cage with a canary in it and most of them carried babies.
After the tallying machine in Captain Shotton’s hand had ticked off two hundred, further landings were stopped, the idea of the Immigrant officials being to take them over to the receiving sheds in batches. This delay annoyed those still crowded around the top of the gangplank, which annoyance threatened to grow into a riot as the delay was increased through a hitch somewhere in the Immigration office. The crowd was tired and hungry and many of them were drunk, threatening to grow ugly.
Fortunately the signal to recommence the disembarkation was given in time to prevent any ill results, and this time it was deemed wise to let all come down to the dock. Once the people were off the ship there were no fear of trouble, the feel of solid ground beneath their feet once more now restoring the good nature of all.
A GOOD LOOKING CROWD
Taking them all in all, the Immigrants seem to be a most desirable lot of people. The men are as a rule young and vigorous, intelligent looking and each with an air of hope in his looks and actions. The hardships of the voyage had told more on the women and children, not to be wondered at, but all appeared hopeful. Many of the women broke down and cried in their relief, as they left the ship and there was plenty of wailing among the little ones, tired out and hungry.
And there appeared to be no end to these little ones. Of children under one year old, the ship’s list showed one hundred and fifty and out of the total number of 1,328 who landed there were 450 under fifteen years. Among so many children, especially with measles among them, it is not to be wondered at that there were a number of deaths, thirteen little ones, all under one year old, having been buried at sea during the voyage and one other child dying at the Immigrations sheds after landing.
TWO AMERICAN SUBJECTS
During the trip there had also been a number of births, 8 joining the ship’s list of passengers after the shores of Madeira had faded from view. The nationality of these mites, born on the high seas under the British flag and of Portuguese parents is debatable, but there can be no question concerning two of the youngest among the newcomers, one of them was born after the S.S. Suveric had tied up at the dock and the other after the mother had reached the Immigration shed. These are full born citizens of Uncle Sam, born under the Stars and Stripes and one of them eligible to aspire to the presidency. The sex of the other will bar her from looking higher than to be mistress of the White House.
BEING WELL LOOKED AFTER
Last night the Immigrants were happy without an exception. They were comfortably housed at the Immigration office, comfortable bunks had been prepared for the tired women and children and all had been well and generously fed. Inspector Sargent had charge of them and he had worked indefatigably to see that the newcomers were treated well and were given everything possible to make them comfortable during one or two days they will spend there. In his work he was ably assisted by the Quarantine and Immigration officials from R.C. Brown, temporarily at the head of the Immigration office, down to the several Portuguese pressed into service temporarily as interpreters and assistants. Mr. Sargent and many of the men went without their own dinners until late into the night that the wants of the new arrivals might not be neglected.
SECRETARY ATKINSON WELL PLEASED
Prominent among those at the Immigration office last night was Secretary Atkinson, working with the others to make the immigrants comfortable. He is well pleased with the people who have arrived and regards their arrival as only a foretaste of what Hawaii has to expect of the new Immigration movement. “This is the beginning, of what is going to be a great thing for the Territory,” he said. “This is the first fruit of the work that will show to the world whether Hawaii is to go forward or back. For this we have every reason to feel grateful to Mr. Sargent, who has been body and soul in this movement, not for Hawaii alone, but for the whole mainland. It is most gratifying to hear him say that he is well satisfied with these people, for he had been behind the movement from the start. “This is the beginning. The first shipload of these people is here and the work of the Board of Immigration, so far as they are concerned, is done. Now it is up to the people to see that they are treated with absolute fairness, to see that they get a square deal. It is up to the plantations which will get them, to treat them well so that the reports they will send back will bring us others like them.”
“It is up to the government, too, to be liberal in its land policy. I hope to see the Legislature appropriate money to open the public lands, putting surveyors into the fields and treating the people in a way that will be an example to the plantation owners. This, too, is a feather in the cap of E.R. Stackable, who has successfully carried out the work he engaged upon.”
HAD A GOOD VOYAGE
Captain Shotton reports having made a good voyage, the weather being pleasant, except for a short time near the Horn. With his passengers he had little difficulty, the immigrants, with a few exceptions, professing them well satisfied with the treatment they received. That they were so, was shown by the number who insisted on kissing the Captain’s hand as they said good-bye to him at the foot of the gangplank. There had been some little difficulty just before the vessel sailed from Funchal, a number coming aboard drunk and expecting to find things running in a routine when the ship’s crew were trying to reduce order out of chaos. Not getting the meal they expected when they first went aboard, some 40 families left the ship. Their loss was not felt, however, as it was found shortly after the vessel had sailed that there were no fewer than 200 stowaways on board, all young men nearing 18 years old, who migrated to escape the compulsory military service of the Portuguese government. There had been, also, a mix-up regarding the matter of baggage, some dissatisfaction being expressed among the immigrants because they had not access to their boxes during the voyage, the baggage of the ones who had left the ship in Funchal had not been delivered to them either, and this was another source of trouble, as reported to the Advertiser some time ago, the Captain having had to file a bond for the safe return of these boxes. The trouble is due altogether to the immigrants themselves. All was supplied with metal tags with numbers and had being given labels for their boxes, numbers to correspond to their tags. This was for the purpose for identification, but failed to work, the passengers in most cases packing their labels and tags carefully away in their boxes, leaving no mark of identification. A good deal of confusion is expected today for the same reason when the boxes were put out for claimants.
SUVERIC A FINE VESSEL
The S.S. Suveric has proved to be a splendid-arranged ship for this work. She is roomy and well ventilated, and is so arranged that the sleeping and living quarters can be kept clean and fresh with least trouble. Each bunk is approachable by an alleyway, different from the steerage room of most of the big vessels, where six or more bunks are side by side. She is a particular steady boat, being ballasted on this trip by 9000 ton cargo of cement, carried on the ship’s account. She was well provisioned, potatoes, rice, flour, coffee, and about 50 barrels of wine. These provisions will possibly be disposed of here.
HONOLULUAN IN SHIP’S CREW
Included among the members of the crew is Mrs. W.F.C. Hasson, who made the trip in the capacity of a nurse. Mrs. Hasson is a Honoluluan, a daughter of Paul Neumann, and there were several friends at the dock to meet her. Mrs. Hasson proved a most valuable person during the landing of the immigrants, standing with the Captain at the foot of the gangplank and directing the people where to go. I was most noticeable that her orders were promptly obeyed. She was also tendered the thanks of hundreds of the immigrants for the services she had rendered them during the voyage, men, women and children kissing her hand as she said good-bye to them and wishing them prosperity in their new home.
On the wharf on the time of the landing were representatives of several of the Hawaii plantations sent here to take charge of the laborers apportioned to them. It is expected that the immigrants will begin to disperse to the various plantations on Monday. “There is nothing to prevent them going at any time now,” said Mr. Sargent last night. “We would let all who have friends go with them now if they want to. All we want to see is that they have some place to go. Tomorrow we will arrange so that all who have friends here can be situated and can talk over what they want to do. They are free agents, we have nothing to say about what they are to do or where they are to go.”
THE PORTUGUESE NEWCOMERS ARE HAPPY ASHORE
Many Family Reunions–Men Eager for Plantations–Not Deterred by Meddlers
The officials Do Hard but Fine Work
“I am taking no interest whatever in that phase of the question which deals with where these immigrants go to find employment. Under the laws of the United States the immigrants are free to go where they wish. No compulsion is brought to bear to send them to plantations or anywhere else. They go of their own free will. I have nothing whatever to do with that.” Said U.S. Commissioner of Immigration, Sargent.
Officially, Mr. Sargent, the United States Immigration Commissioner who came to Honolulu from Washington especially to be present when the Portuguese Immigrants from the steamship Suveric were landed, takes no note or interest of the plans of the immigrants as they have passed through the immigration station, but, personally, he is anxious to see that the Portuguese, who had the honor of being passed at his hands, are given good births where they may work and commence to earn their livelihood under the American flag and cheering conditions. It was a tired-looking lot of officials around the Immigration Station who saw the sunrise yesterday morning. Mr. Sargent and the Inspector-in-charge Mr. R.C. Brown, and his assistants, Messrs. Halsey, Gene Sullivan, Curry, Christan and the staff of interpreters, had their hands full all the previous night and none got more than the proverbial forty winks of sleep. To care for 1,300 immigrants from Europe is far different than looking after a similar number of Asiatics. Their wants were different and they had to be looked after in a different way. They were hungry and that was one of the first things the immigration people provided–good meals.
The adults looked fresh in the morning but the children were still tired and again hungry. The long sea trip and the hurly-burly of landing made them very tired. And then the Immigration Station began to look like a maternity home, for there were 3 more births and one death.
The officials began putting the immigrants through in the day. The usual questions were asked as to whether they were under contract or had been assisted by private means. They generally replied that they came seeking work and knew of no assistance given them except the request of the Territory of Hawaii to come to Hawaii to get work and homes.
After going through the lanes, upon being passed by the inspectors, the immigrants hurried through the hall of the station and out into the yard. They had at last passed under the American flag and they laughed and talked, and then eagerly looked toward the big high fence surrounding the station grounds at the mass of local Portuguese who came to meet them. Going through the yard the immigrants were sent into the shelter shed where they were met by agents of the Immigration Bureau and by a large number of hard-working Honolulu Portuguese who answered questions, gave advice and assisted their countrymen in the selection of the plantations to which they wished to go to work. A majority of those who came out in the morning and massed in the shed desired to go to Ewa or Waialua, while some selected to go to the other islands.
Early in the day about 300 were taken over to the Quarantine Island. This included all persons having measles, and in many cases whole families, which decided to keep together rather than be separated. Consul General Canavarro, M.A. Silva, A.G. Castro and many other Portuguese citizens have been unceasing in their attention to the immigrants.
It was represented at the station that many Honolulu Portuguese had advised the newcomers to settle in Honolulu in preference to going out to the plantations, the advice also being given that they could get work here. However, the majority listed their names for various plantations, not only on this island, but from Maui and Hawaii. One Portuguese came from Paia, Maui. He found that a family, who were relatives, had been sent to the Quarantine Island, save a boy, his cousin. He said he would take care of his cousin and wait for the family to leave the Quarantine and he would then try to prevail upon them to go to Maui with him.
Secretary Atkinson, E.D. Tenny, Mr. Carden and J.A. Gilman, were indefatigable in their effort to serve the people. These gentlemen formed the Board of Immigration and showed their interest in this shipment by assisting in the work of getting the people cared for and assigned to Plantations. There were greetings of people who had not seen each other for 20 or 30 years. One Honolulu woman had not seen a sister in 30 years. She was piloted about from place to place by Secretary Atkinson until she found her relative and the meeting was affecting. But there were many similar instances.
It seemed that all Punchbowl was amassed in front of the gates. The road was blocked with people and it looked as if a Portuguese holiday was in progress. Secretary Atkinson mounted a horse block at one of the gates about 3 p.m. and addressed the local people, telling them that it had been decided to open the gates for them to come in and find relatives if they desired. He advised them that steamers left at noon today for Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii, and would take immigrants to their destinations free of charge. Also a train would leave the depot at 9 a.m. for various plantations on this island. After this announcement the gates were opened and the people swarmed in. There was a straining of eyes of the older people to catch sight of relatives and there were affecting scenes when long-parted relatives met. M.A. Silva thought with few exceptions most of the people will be at work within a few days and nearly all will go to plantations. He thought it would be foolish to do otherwise, as the majority were without funds and had families dependent upon them. The baggage of the immigrants were taken out of the holds of the S.S. Suveric yesterday and piled up on the wharf to be claimed today by the owners.
Mr. Sargent, in response to a query as to the equipment of the immigrants station, said that the entire station met the situation very well and matters there were satisfactory to him.
In the tabulation of immigrants the following figures are given of adults: 515 below the age of 20, girls and boys, 250 above 20 and married, 155 single men, and the remainder children. The people are light-hearted and some in a gay mood. It is the feeling in being out in the open air, out of cramped quarters and the feelings of terra firma beneath them. It is expected that the ailing children will pick up in a few days. The entire shipment is expected to show that it is a crowd of picked men and women. There are a few old people in the lot. President Pinkham of the Board of Health and staff were on hand during the entire day. Consul Canavarro was somewhat concerned about the passports of the people. They have not arrived. It was ascertained that they had been forwarded by American Express and that being the case had probably gone to Seattle or some Northwestern city and would not arrive here for several days. The presumption is that they will arrive on the Siberia December 14.
Many of the immigrants had their first street-car ride yesterday. It is a question as to who derived the most fun–the immigrants, or those who watch them.
THE S.S. SUVERIC IMMIGRANTS GO TO THE CANE FIELDS
The Planters’ Association did a great work in distributing the Portuguese Immigrants arriving Saturday, December 1st., 1906, from Funchal, Madeira on the British steamship, Suveric, among various plantations.
“We are a great deal better satisfied with the result of the distribution than I thought we would be at first,” said Royal D. Mead, Secretary of the Hawaii Sugar Planters’ Association, yesterday. “We admitted the Honolulu Portuguese to the Planters’ shed to see the new arrivals and a great many departed for Punchbowl and stayed overnight. It is very much to the credit of the Honolulu Portuguese that these people turned up so well today and took employment. This morning we actually had a great many people than we could handle, but we distributed them very nicely.”
“In the first place we had our steamers ready on Sunday. They were charted to go to the other islands with immigrants, but we did not see them off until today. We had a special train today, which went over the O.R. & L. line as far as Kahuku, leaving Honolulu at 2 p.m. They distributed to the various plantations on Oahu as follows: EWA—39 men, WAIPAHU—40 men, WAIALUA—39 men, KAHUKU—35 men. The majority of these men have families, but we have not tallied them yet. They filled 5 cars, and in addition, which had separated cars for the baggage. One difficulty we had was to keep all the people from wishing to go to plantations on this island.”
After finishing up with the Oahu island distribution we began getting them off to the other islands. The people selected their own plantations, there being no effort on our part to persuade them to go to any particular place. They talked it over with their friends here and then made up their decision.
The distribution for the other islands resulted as follows:
HAWAIIAN COMMERCIAL—18 families, consisting of 19 men, 19 women, 31 children, 29 single men
WAILUKU—5 families: 5 men, 5 women, 2 children and 8 single men
PAIA—7 families, consisting of 7 men, 7 women, 6 children, and 2 single men
HAWAII; WAIAKEA—5 families consisting of 5 men, 5 women, 10 children, 14 single men
HAKALAU—6 families, consisting of 6 men, 6 women, 19 children, and 7 single men
OLAA—11 families, consisting of 11 men, 12 women, 29 children, 10 single men
PAAUHAU—21 families, consisting of 24 men, 26 women, 27 children, and 4 single men
KAUAI: LIHUE—7 families, consisting of 7 men, 7 women, 14 children, and 2 single men
MAKEE—10 families, consisting of 10 men, 9 women, 18 children, and 2 single men
In addition there were a few men for MCBRYDE.
There were also a few who showed up just too late to be sent away today but they will be taken cared of.
On Sunday the immigrants had shelter in the Planters’ Association shed and talked with their countrymen residing here. No restrictions were placed upon them there, and even at the Bishop wharf, where they boarded the islands steamers, they were free to do as they wished. All day Sunday about 25 men were quartered on the steamer Helene, which, after all, did not go until yesterday. They were contented on board and did not come ashore, which speaks well for the Inter-Island service.
We found on Saturday night they were short of blankets at the Immigration Station. We sent a big supply down then and yesterday we sent along another batch. They took the blankets away with them. The S.S. Suveric people refused to handle the baggage on Sunday. We looked after it with our own men and they worked until 2 a.m. and it was scattered all over the wharf. If it had not been for Captain Relly, Hackfield & Company’s dock superintendent, I don’t know what we would have done about it. He collected it and handled it in an experienced manner as he did the people themselves. He was a very valuable man to us. The interpreters we had did a fine work, giving themselves over to the work in hand cheerfully and intelligently. These were Messrs: A.D. Castro, M.A. Silva, Marques, Fernandes, Pacheco, M.R. Oliveira, A. McDuffy, our head guard, was another valuable man and he certainly proved to be the right man in the right place.
We have left orders that if any more of the immigrants go back to the station, they are to be accommodated in the shed where they will be sheltered and fed until they decide where they wish to go. The Association has furnished the people with food freely and provided as much milk as they could drink before they left town.
There were several sick persons who was taken to the hospital. One of the two sick babies died there, but the other one and a man will pull through all right. Commissioner Sargent was splendid through it all and his experience in the matter was most gratifying to us all. We worked in perfect harmony with him.
Reports Denied That Any Have Left Ewa
The rumor that 8 of the Portuguese families had left Ewa Plantation is denied at the office of the company in Ewa. As far as can be learned these from the S.S. Suveric assigned to Ewa is still there and perfectly contented. The rumor that they were promised two acres of land before they took passage on the steamer is denied by Mr. Canavarro, Portuguese Consul here. “I have heard of the report that these people were deceived relative to the land they were to have on their arrival here,” said the Consul yesterday, “but there is nothing to it. They were told they would have 2 alqueires of land and the term in the proper translation is obsolete in my country. It means less than an English acre, but really does not have a place in our modern metric system. I have been told by some of the Portuguese that an English acre is equal to 4 alqueires. The mistake probably occurred in the use of the word by someone who was not acquainted with it. Old Portuguese over there like to speak of them in connection with land deals, but the term is rarely used by the younger generation. As to any other complaint, I must say the agents of the company were particularly unhappy in the selection of the cooks’ aides for the voyage. I have investigated the complaint and find out there is justice, for the men who were assigned cooks in the galley knew absolutely nothing about cooking and consequent by Giled the abundance of food that was put aboard the vessel, I cannot say whether or not there will be other immigrants from Portugal. I did not believe they could get such a number of this class to leave their homes for they are better than any I have ever seen here. One family, now in the Quarantine Station, consists of a woman of 35 years of age with 7 splendid children, they are a credit to any nationality and it makes me feel badly to see such people leaving my country.”
“It was pleasing to me to note the way the immigrants were handled at the station. Taking them one at a time the officials examined each and took their measurements. This was slow work, but it was thoroughly done. When an Immigrant was found to be ailing, there was no time lost, in having the proper treatment and when necessary the patient was taken to the hospital. I am delighted with the work of the staff of officials there. Now, the Plantations here on this island did not claim all that were sent out, the managers were willing that some plantations on the other islands should have their share, but through the advice of friends here a great many preferred to stay on Oahu, where they would be near Honolulu. The managers told them there were not sufficient accommodations for them and advised them to try other places as they were free to do as they pleased, they remained. They appeared to me like men and women who will make good citizens and good laborers and I wish that some of the plantations of the other islands could have secured some of them.”
EXPECTED TWO ACRES
Portuguese Had Some Very Iridescent Dreams
Within the next 2 weeks hundreds of letters will be sent from these islands to the relatives and friends of the recently arrived immigrants of the S.S. Suveric from Madeira, awaiting the news from here which will determine whether they will follow to Hawaii or migrate to South American countries which have active emigration agencies at work among them. And, with the exception of the experiences on the voyage over, the reports of the immigrants are likely to be favorable ones.
With Hawaii itself the newcomers are charmed. The climate here is somewhat warmer than their old Atlantic home, a fact which pleases them, and the uniform kindness with which they have been received by everyone from the moment they stepped off the S.S. Suveric has given them already a great aloha for the land of their adoption. But there are some kicks coming and it is quite possible that there will be occasion for some judicious handling of the newcomers to make them thoroughly satisfied and attach them to the soil.
According to the stories told last night by 3 of the new arrivals, one an elderly man, who brings a family of children with him, and the others young and bright-looking men, the inducement held out to them before migrating have been found exaggerated since their arrival. The story they tell is summarized as follows:
Upon the arrival of Mr. Stackable and Mr. Frazer at Funchal, Madeira, advertisements were published in the local papers asking for all who wished for information concerning Hawaii to call at his office. To those who answered the advertisements it was promised that all who would come here and would work on a plantation for 3 years would receive a two-acre plot of land in fee simple and would also be given a house to cost $400.00. This was to be theirs in addition to the wages they would earn, viz: $20.00 a month for the first year, $21.00 for the second year, and $22.00 for the third year. During their stay in the plantation they were to be given free medical attendance, free fuel, free water, and a stove.
There was to be no compulsions as regards staying in any one particular plantation, but only those who would work out their three-year term were to be given any land. Now the immigrants find that instead of 2 acres of land the amount has been cut down to one acre and that only the heads of families are to be given any. The young men who may wish to establish a home at some future time, can not be allotted any land now. This is evidently a source of disappointment to many.
The immigrants are loud in their kicks over the food served to them on the voyage. It is not the quality of the provisions nor the quantity to which they take such vigorous exception, but to the manner in which it was served. The cooks were chosen at random from the ranks of the immigrants themselves, and, according to the reports, could do almost anything, but cook. The Captain’s treatment of the passengers is not criticized except for the fact that he neglected to see that the food was properly prepared. A jealous passenger resented the attentions paid by the skipper to one of the Portuguese girls, and a small-sized riot resulted, the crew and passengers fighting over the skipper, the latter being desirous of throwing him over board. This was only incidental, however, the main kick being that the officers failed in their duty as overseers of the cooking.
So serious did this become that after passing the Straits of Magellan, a number of the men broke open the store-room, threatening to take out the supplies and prepare the food themselves. The immigrants have not words enough to express their thanks to Mrs. Hasson, who worked unceasingly for them throughout the long passage, according to the stories of the 3 last night. It was due to the fact of Mrs. Hasson that there was so little trouble aboard the ship, she having succeeded smoothing over many things which otherwise would have resulted in perhaps serious riots.
The majority of the younger men and women among the 1,300 newcomers can read and write, having attended the recently-established public schools in Madeira. Most of the immigrants have also a little money, the total cash brought by the shipload being something over $5000.00. A great many of them are musicians, their favorite instrument being the violin, and one of the passengers is an orchestra leader.
Prior to leaving for Hawaii the majority of the men were small tenant farmers, on the landed estates of their islands, the other being ox-drivers and farm laborers. A few of the immigrants yet remain in Honolulu, having got out of touch with the others before the exodus to the plantations. Others are only now being released from quarantine. These scattered members of the party are being rounded up by J.F. Dutra, who is interesting himself in seeing that they are placed where they can begin their work.
S.S. SUVERIC WAS DETAINED
The steamship Suveric, which had been ready to sail for San Francisco yesterday, was detained until 4 o’clock in the afternoon by the United States Immigration Inspector Sargent, who wished to investigate some matter in connection with the bringing in of 1,300 Portuguese immigrants from Funchal, Madeira.
Since the arrival of these people it has been stated at various times that a large number of stowaways have been found among them, one of the immigrants being responsible for the statement that at least 200 had boarded the vessel without the necessary passports issued by the Portuguese Government. Among these were a large number who desired to escape from the military conscription.
There were also a few women among the reputed stowaways and a few children. The list of passengers given to the local agents by Captain Shorton showed that some of the stowaways had not been discovered until the vessel had neared Honolulu. Whatever was the reason back of the detention of the steamship, it has been satisfactorily settled and the vessel allowed to proceed.
HOW THE S.S. SUVERIC IMMIGRANTS FARE
On Monday and Tuesday the laborers and their families left for the Plantations, and, so far as could be learned yesterday over a disconnected telephone line, they are satisfied with their localities. The weather had been too stormy for work and they have been busy settling themselves to their new homes. It is not the policy of the Plantations to put to work immediately the green hands that are sent out, but rather to wait until they became acquainted with the surroundings. At Ewa Plantation, a number of newcomers are unmarried, but they seem satisfied with the work which they have been told is cut out for them. On Oahu Plantation, but two families were received and Mr. Oakley states that they were perfectly contented and will no doubt give satisfaction as laborers.
Excerpts taken from the Pacific Commercial Advertiser. State of Hawaii Library on microfilm, State of Hawaii Archives.
Thank you to Sandy Sakai for this contribution.
© 2003 Melody Lassalle