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#6 DALHOUSIE




From St. Michael, Azores, March 27, 1882
95 Men, 52 Women, 145 Children

THE STATUE OF KAMEHAMEHA

The arrival of the original Kamehameha statue on board the British ship Earl of Dalhousie, is an incident of notable interest. The Legislature of 1878, voted the sum of $10,000 for the erection of a monument to commemorate the Centennial of the discovery of these Islands by Captain Cook, and appointed Messrs, Gibson, Kapena, Cleghorn, Kaai, and Nawahi, members of the Legislature of 1878, a Committee to take charge of this work.

The Committee negotiated with Thomas R. Gould, an American artist, residing at Florence, Italy for the design and execution of a statue of Kamehameha the Conqueror. It was after lengthy study and correspondence finally executed and shipped for this country on board the German bark G.F. Heudel.

The vessel took fire at sea, and sank in shoal water, off Port Stanly, Falkland Islands. As insurance on the statue was received, and the amount enabled the Monument Committee to order a replica, which was taken in hand by Mr. Gould. The new statue was cast in bronze and the artist was engaged in superintending the polish and finishing touches of the work when he suddenly died; and the work was taken up by his son.

Now whilst the replica in hand, the old troop ship Earl of Dalhousie bringing Portuguese emigrants to the Islands, touches at Port Stanley, fog results, Captain Jarvis observed a striking looking statue on the beach of this out-of-way place--learns that it is that of the savage King of the Sandwich Islands, so, not in a burning ship but had been fished out of the sea, had been purchased by a wrecker, and was now part of the stock of an old junk dealer.

Now had there been any delay or difficulty in getting a replica, and second statue was not forthcoming, Captain Jarvis could have reasonably hoped to have driven a good bargain for his statue; but under the circumstances he was content to accept $875, which will compensate him for his risk and trouble. And now the Monument Committee have in charge two (2) statues of the famous Hawaiian Warrior, and founder of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

There is a beautifully designed pedestal in front of Aliiolani Hale which awaits one statue; and now the question arises, where shall the duplicate be placed? Only two places are spoken of, Kohala, the birthplace and hereditary land of the great Chief, and Kailua, his royal seat, after his conquest of the Islands. The weight of opinion is in favor of Kohala, the decision of the question will probably be reserved till the meeting of the Legislature, to be determined by that body.

The condition of the original statue is very good, considering its extraordinary experience. The right outstretched hand is melted off near the wrist, a small hole is broken into the feather cloak, and the spear held in the left hand is gone. But the feather helmet have not suffered in any way.

The anatomy of the physique of the noble figure is finely displayed; and we wonder that the raging fury of the flames of a burning ship, should have so slightly scathed the bronze warrior. The statue was placed on the deck of the G.F. Heudel, and this will account somewhat for the slight injuries it received. It will be no difficult matter to replace the lost palm, to mend the cloak and to put a new spear in the hero’s hand. Then, when he’s upon his pedestal he will stand up before admiring Hawaiians as their Conquering Chieftain, coming forth from the flames, and rising up out of the sea--a harbinger of fresh hope and life unto his people and State. It is a very generally expressed opinion among the people, that the mutilated bronze warrior should be set up without repairs, except the replacing of the spear.



Excerpts from The Pacific Commercial Advertiser Weekly, Hawaii State Library (Micro-film)




Thank you to Sandy Sakai for this contribution.
© 2003 Melody Lassalle

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