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The community at large was pleased to learn on Sunday, Sept. 30, 1878, of the arrival of the pioneer company of Portuguese, procured at Madeira, through the exertions of Dr. Hillebrand, formerly a family from this city. They came on the German bark, ‘Priscilla’, after a passage of 120 days and all to the number of 120 persons, arrived in excellent health. Among them were 19 married couples, 3 single women, 36 children and 46 single men. The men all belong to the laboring classes, but with a few exception perhaps, are not likely to be engaged as common plantation laborers. Some of the men are mechanics, such as masons, carpenters, etc., several of whom have been engaged to work for the government. We learned that these immigrants will find no difficult engagements, for most part as, servants in private families. They are clean looking, well-behaved set with the old fashioned polite manners of the Portuguese and Spanish races.

The more we have of this sort of immigrants, the better. They are, as a race, as we have frequently on occasion to remark before, as temperate, painstaking, thrifty and law-abiding people. They came here to stay and do not send their earnings out of the country as do some of the other nationalities. We trust in the Board of Immigration in view of the success which have attended this first venture to Madeira, will soon follow up with another. This will prove a sure and safe mode of developing many of the latent resources of our Islands.

We learn from the Board of Immigration has, during the past week, had under consideration the subject of further effort to procure immigrants from the Portuguese Islands in the Atlantic ocean of a similar class of those which recently arrived here by the Priscilla. It is understood that the responsible parties in London are prepared to contract for bringing hither as many as these people as we need, or as, our means will permit us to bear the expense of.

Planters, it seems, are alive to the advantage, and in fact safety-which will result to their estates by the presence on each of a few of these civilized Christian laborers, as an offset to the “heathen Chinese”, who is always an element of trouble and danger.

We trust that the Board of Immigration, appreciating as its members undoubtedly to the importance to the future welfare of the country of check mating the influx of male Chinese, will act promptly in the matter of procuring a considerable immigration of Portuguese settlers.

The above are excerpts from the ships log as the Portuguese made their journey to the Sandwich Isles, Terra Nova, Hawaii. Taken from the Pacific Commercial Advertiser. On microfilm at the Hawaii State Library.

There were 27 Portuguese ships and 2 Spanish ships, total 29 ships from 1878 to 1913.

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

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