On Jon’s Desk: Celebrating National Aviation Day with a Look at the Evolution of Flight


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Evolution of Flight - cover








“Some of the myths of yesterday are the facts of today. The advance and evolution of flight is fully appreciated by the world at large. The long process of its growth can be vividly traced by reading the early legends and following them through the various stages of development. The early investigators, the daring balloonists, the ingenious gliders – all have contributed to this wonderful achievement.”

~ Nolie Mumey, from the Foreword of Evolution of Flight

Evolution of Flight - title page









Evolution of Flight: Stories based on legendary and historical data

Nolie Mumey

Denver: The Kendrick Bellamy Co., 1931

TL515 M8 1931

Evolution of Flight - GreeceIt is easy to take for granted how far we’ve come in the field of aviation. Given the money and the appropriate political documentation, anyone can get to the other side of the world within a twenty-four-hour period of time. This fact is really quite mind boggling when one takes a moment to ponder it. I recently took a trip which involved flying in an airplane. While preparing for the upcoming flight I was more concerned with making sure I didn’t have any liquids in my carry-on bag when I got to the security check point than I was about the fact that I was about to sit inside a large piece of metal as it flew through the air at hundreds of miles per hour thirty thousand feet above the ground. I doubt I am alone in this warped sense of concern when it comes to travel via commercial airline. Flying has become so common place it is interesting to consider that we have only had the technology to travel in this way for a little over a century. For thousands of years before we finally succeeded in achieving sustained flight people had dreamed of doing so.

Evolution of Flight - EnglandEach year, on August 19th, the United States of America celebrates National Aviation Day. Created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939, the day is a commemoration of the development of modern aviation. The 19th of August was selected for its observance because Orville Wright was born on this day in 1871. Orville and his older brother Wilbur are credited with achieving the first controlled, sustained flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft. At 10:35 a.m. on December 17, 1903, four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville lifted off into a 27 mile per hour head wind and flew for 12 seconds at an altitude of 10 feet, flying at 6.8 miles per hour and covering 120 feet of ground. Both brothers flew twice that day, Wilbur making the fourth and final flight of the day at about noon, during which he sustained flight for 59 seconds and flew 852 feet.

Evolution of Flight - Wright BrothersAfter experimenting with gliders in the 1890s (based upon research done by Leonardo da Vinci, Octave Chanute, George Cayley, Otto Lilienthal, Samuel Langley, and others), the Wright brothers constructed their powered Wright Flyer I using spruce wood and Pride of the West muslin. They designed and carved their own propellers and, when they couldn’t find anyone able to build an engine to their weight specifications, turned to their shop machinist and mechanic Charlie Taylor – who in only six weeks engineered and built a lightweight power plant for the Wright brothers. To minimize weight, Taylor cast the engine block from aluminum. The 152-pound engine exceeded the power output requirement of 8 horsepower by delivering 12. Using heavy duty chains that resembled those used for bicycles, the engine drove the dual eight feet long propellers. The Flyer had a wingspan of 40.3 feet and weighed 605 pounds.

Evolution of Flight - Jean-Marie Le BrisTo put Taylor’s engine into perspective, the self-propelled lawn mowers most of us have in our sheds today average between 5 and 7 horsepower and those of the riding variant average between 15 and 20. Building a frame of spruce wood, covering it with muslin, and placing on it the equivalent of a lawn mower engine hooked via chains to a couple of propellers seems fairly straight forward and something an engineering-minded and mechanically-inclined high school student might do during a summer break to pass the time. We, who are accustomed to seeing pictures of the SR-71, Concorde, and F-35 Lightning II, may easily take the Wrights’ achievement for granted, thinking of it as primitive. To think such, however, would show a lack of understanding for what was achieved in 1903. While Taylor’s six-week turnaround in designing and building a lightweight engine is impression, the true accomplishment that brought the Wright brothers their fame was the development of three-axis control because it was this system that enabled a pilot Evolution of Flight - W Millerto steer the aircraft effectively and to maintain its equilibrium. It was what had eluded all other aeronautical investigators up until the turn of the 20th century.

Although on National Aviation Day we celebrate the accomplishments of the Wright brothers, we should remember that there were many people who contributed to the pursuit of flight over a span of roughly two thousand years. Written by *Nolie Mumey, Evolution of Flight: Stories based on legendary and historical data takes the reader, as the title makes clear, through the history of thousands of years in which we developed the ability to fly thousands of miles in a few hours. Granted, most of the significant progress was made in the last two centuries prior to powered flight – but we shouldn’t discount even the earliest efforts because it shows the power of dreams and where those dreams can take us.

~ Contributed by Jon Bingham, Rare Books Curator

*Nolie Mumey (1891 – 1984) graduated from the University of Arkansas Medical School in 1916 and became a surgeon. He went on to earn a Master of Science degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA and MA from the University of Denver. A twentieth-century Renaissance man, Mumey was also a poet, silversmith, aviator, carpenter, woodcarver, artist, and inventor. He had an extensive collection of books and artifacts of the American West and its history. He wrote numerous books on both medical and Western history.

Evolution of Flight - Leonardo da Vinci






Evolution of Flight - Lilienthal





Evolution of Flight - Octave Chanute


Medieval Latin Hymn Fragment: “Who is this who comes forth arising like morning…”


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(Guttur tuum sicut vinum optimum)
Dignu(m) dilecto meo ad pota(n)dum
Q(ua)e est ista q(uae) progreditur
q(ua)si aurora consurge(n)s
pulchra ut luna e-(lecta)

(and your mouth like an exquisite wine)
worthy for drinking (may it go) to my beloved…
Who is this who comes forth rising like
morning, beautiful like the moon,

lecta ut sol terribilis ut castroru(m) acies
ordinata Cantan Ps(almum)
Et ideo amavit eam(,m) rex plusq(ua)m (omnes mulieres)

like the sun, terrible like an army arrayed for battle?
And therefore he loved her more than (all the other women)

This folio, like several others in the collection, is devoted to the celebration of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15th. It was the antiphon sung at the Benedictus for lauds early in the morning and urged the faithful to rejoice: “gaudete et exultate…qui hodie Maria Virgo cum Christo regnat per eternum. Alleluja” (“Rejoice and exult…because today the Virgin Mary reigns with Christ in heaven forever. Alleluia!”) The first selection on the recto is from the Song of Songs, a series of love poems in which lover and beloved, bridegroom and bride, are united, divided and united again. Often the series is interpreted allegorically: the relationship signifies a true human relationship sanctified by marriage or it signifies the relationship between Yahweh and Israel. In the text the bridegroom introduces the metaphor of wine, and the bride responds with similarly: “your speaking, superlative wine/wine flowing straight to my Beloved” (Jerusalem Bible). The text continues with the Bridegroom’s question: “Why is this arising like the dawn, fair as the moon, resplendent as the sun, terrible as an army with banners?” (Jerusalem Bible). Here more specifically the relationship seems to be the relationship between God and the Blessed Virgin Mary with God questioning who she is as she is assumed into heaven. Note that the simile “quasi aurora consugens” is highly appropriate, and some other later texts emend “progreditur” to “ascendit” to heighten the upward momentum for the “rising” Mary. Thus the bride of the allegory is not only Israel, the Church or individual soul but also the Blessed Virgin Mary as queen of heaven and arrayed for the battle against evil, perhaps even as the woman of the Apocalypse. This is the reason Holy Scripture refers to Our Lady as “terribilis ut castrorum acies ordinata,” as terrible as an army set in battle array.” The Church also says that it is she alone who smashes all heresies. To celebrate this fact, in statues of the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady is crushing the head of the evil serpent.

At the bottom of the verso the text alludes to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the context of the Old Testament and the Book of Esther: “And the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she found favor and kindness with him more than all the women, and she found favor and kindness with him more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti” (Esth.2:17). In a figural reading the king’s love for Esther is a type prefiguring God’s love for Mary above all others. It also prefigures her immaculate conception as virgin and establishes her place as queen of heaven, a fitting allusion on the Feast of the Assumption.

~Transcription, translation, and commentary by James T. Svendsen, associate professor emeritus, World Languages and Cultures, The University of Utah

MS chant frag. 4 — Part of a parchment bifolia from an Antiphonal, 16th c. Spain/Portugal.

~Description by Elizabeth Peterson, associate professor, Dept. of Art & Art History, The University of Utah, from Paging Through Medieval Lives, a catalog for an exhibition held November 2, 1997 through January 4, 1998 at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.

Book of the Week — Platōnos epta eklektoi dialogoi


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“Books are immortal sons defying their sires.” — Plato

Platōnos epta eklektoi dialogoi
Dublinii: E typographia academiae, MDCCXXXVIII [1738]
PA4279 A3 1738

This is the first book printed at Trinity College’s printing house, built in 1734, and the first complete Greek text printed in Ireland. Thirty copies were printed on large paper and specially bound as gifts for important people, while the remaining seven hundred and fifty copies were awarded as prizes for the best answers at examinations.

This copy was presented in 1752 and was likely bound at Joseph Leathley’s Binder. The style is similar and the leather identical to many of this shop’s bindings.

In 1735, London booksellers lodged an official complaint that the Dublin book trade was undercutting London book-prices. Given the choice of a London “original” or a Dublin reprint at the same price, Irish readers often chose the former, except in times of patriotic boycott of English goods. The driving force behind choice, however, was cost. Foreign and colonial customers also preferred London imprints, but only if Dublin imprints were equally priced.

English booksellers objected to Dublin booksellers for the obvious: they spoiled the market for English editions in Ireland, and illegally imported copies threatened sales in English provinces and, to some extent, in English colonies. In 1709, the English Copyright Act allowed the reprinting of works first issued in other countries. This opened the trade considerably for Dublin printers. Throughout the 18th century, London booksellers resented the ensuing competition and often accused Dublin of piracy.

While this edition was clearly not a threat to retail commerce, Trinity College’s printing house took jobs away from English printers.

University of Utah copy bound in contemporary sprinkled calf with gilt device of Trinity College on both covers; gilt spine with raised bands, decorated with star, spade, and wavy line tools. Edition of one thousand copies.

Michael R. Thompson, In Memoriam


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“We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand — and melting like a snowflake…” — Francis Bacon

Rare Books lost a dear friend.

Michael R. Thompson, owner of Michael R. Thompson Rare Books based in Los Angeles, California, died Friday evening. We will miss his friendship very much. Our heart goes out to his beloved daughter, grandchildren (“best grandkids in the world”), and family, and his faithful friend and business partner, Carol Sandberg.

Michael was a dedicated antiquarian whose passion for and knowledge of all things old books was legendary. His warmth, honesty, and generosity will never be forgotten.

Over many years, Michael provided the J. Willard Marriott Library’s rare book collections with innumerable treasures. Michael was a key player working with library staff in 1968, when the Marriott family bestowed a generous gift toward building a world-class rare book collection. Many of the science books we have featured on this blog are ours because of Michael’s hard work and enthusiasm for this project.

Michael had a keen capacity for listening to Marriott Library curators, finding gems that added breadth to our ability to offer topic-specific hands-on experiences for students, faculty and community members. From incunabula to science to fine press to women’s studies to artists’ books to book collecting to philosophy (his favorite) to seventeenth-century classics to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature, Michael provided depth to our collections. He was tenacious in representing not just ancient tomes but the work of some of the best presses today.

Michael delighted in hearing how the books he found for us were used and how thrilled our students were to hold these books. These books will be held by many hands to come and Michael’s legacy, whether those hands know it or not, will always be a part of that experience.

Michael was responsible for the donation of several key pieces to our collections. If you search “anonymous” in this blog, much of what you see is here because of him.

I learned a lot from Michael. He was a fount of knowledge without pretension, told great stories, had a terrific sense of humor, an infectious laugh, and kept me going when I felt discouraged. Michael was intrepid, both in selling books he knew we should have and in belief in life at its best. His friendship inspired me in all sorts of ways. I cherished his sympathetic ear and his kind, encouraging words, delivered in his gruff, gravelly voice.

Francis Bacon wrote, “There are two ways of spreading light..to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” Michael was both.

Memory eternal.

~~Luise Poulton, Managing Curator and Head of Department, Rare Books

Good books

Good cats: Peaches and Sam

Good friends: Michael Thompson, Lou Weinstein, Carol Sandberg, John Windle

Michael R. Thompson talks about bookselling in 2014.

Book of the Week — The Tower of the Winds


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Near his left knee the Pleiads next are roll’d
Like seven pure brilliants set in ring of gold.
Though each one small, their splendour all combine
To form one gem, and gloriously they shine.
Their number seven, though some men fondly say,
And poets feign, that one has pass’d away.
Alcyone — Celoeno — Merope —
Electra — Taygeta — Sterope —
With Maia — honour’d sisterhood — by Jove
To rule the seasons plac’d in heaven above.
Men mark them, rising with the solar ray,
The harbingers of summer’s brighter day —
Men mark them, rising with Sol’s setting light,
Forerunners of the winter’s gloomy night.
They guide the Ploughman to the mellow land —
The Sower casts his seed at their command.
–Aratus (b. ca. 260BC)

The Tower of the Winds
Lawrence G. Van Velzer and Peggy Gotthold
Santa Cruz: Foolscap Press, 2002
N7433.4 V368 T68 2002

Designed and letterpress printed from polymer plates on a Hacker hand press by the authors. The type face is Adobe Herculanum. Papers are Zerkall Book and handmade Egyptian papyrus. One scroll presented in a cylindrical case with
metal clasp. The case was produced from dyed, hand-shaped Arches paper. Edition of 200 copies.

Special Collections Reference has new hours!

Please note: Special Collections has new reference desk hours. 

Monday through Friday 9A-5P

Open the following Saturdays during Fall Semester 2018, 10A-5P

August 25
September 08
September 22
October 06
October 20
November 03
November 17
December 01
December 08

For more information, please contact
Luise Poulton luise.poulton@utah.edu
Jon Bingham jon.bingham@utah.edu
Scott Beadles scott.beadles@utah.edu 

or call us at 801-585-6168

We look forward to seeing you! 

KUED’s VERVE features Tryst Press


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“Its not just this linear experience of open the book and get to the end of the book. Its also a trans-generational experience…you can open a book that was printed in 1780 and somebody sprinkled it with camphor and you can smell the camphor. Its not just the words that relate you to the book. Its the physical action somebody took on that object that is also important.” — Rob Buchert, Tryst Press

KUED‘s online video series, VERVE, features Rob Buchert and Tryst Press in its latest episode of the season, “It’s All About the Book.” VERVE is produced by Ashley Swansong, a graduate of The University of Utah and past student employee of Special Collections at the J. Willard Marriott Library.

Rare Books holds all Tryst Press productions. We chose these three as favorite examples of Tryst Press’s work of the book.

“Their eyes followed us every moment. I do not forget their eyes…”

Interlinear for Cabeza de Vaca
Haniel Long (1888-1956)
Provo, UT: Tryst Press, 1996
E125 N9 L62 1996 oversize

Illustrated by Tal Walton. Printed by Rob and Georgia Buchert on handmade paper from India with Caslon Oldstyle type. Edition of one hundred and fifty copies.

“Behold, for this last time have we nourished my vineyard. And thou beholdest that I have done according to my will and I have preserved the natural fruit, that it is good, even like as it was in the beginning. And blessed art thou, for because that ye have been diligent in laboring with me in my vineyard and have kept my commandments — and it hath brought unto me again the natural fruit, that my vineyard is no more corrupted and the bad is cast away — behold, ye shall have joy with me because of the fruit of my vineyard.”

The Allegory of the Olive Tree
Provo, UT: Tryst Press, 2006
BX8643 O44 A42 2006

Printed letterpress with handset Nicolas Cochin and Garamond types on paper hand made for this edition. Edition of fifty copies. Rare Books copy is no. 6, one of eight bound with olive wood boards.

Jerusalem (Hierosolima)
Provo, UT: Tryst Press, 2007
Z241 L5 S32 2007

“Oldest printed view of Jerusalem. Woodcut by the shop of Michael Wolgemut. From Liber cronicarum (Nuremberg Chronicle) by Hartmann Schedel, 1493. Printed at Tryst Press as a keepsake for attendees of A. Dean Larsen Book Collecting Conference, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, March 30, 2007.”

Book of the Week — Voyage of the soul: Five tales from Plato


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There is one way, then, in which a man can be free from all anxiety about the fate of his soul — if in life he has abandoned bodily pleasures and adornments, as foreign to his purpose and likely to do more harm than good, and has devoted himself to the pleasures of acquiring knowledge, and so by decking his soul not with a borrowed beauty but with its own — with self-control, and goodness, and courage, and liberality, and truth — has fitted himself to await his journey to the next world. — from “The True Earth”

Voyage of the Soul
Petrarch Press and Apollo Bindery, 1996
B358 S65 1996

Introduction by Mark Smith. Graphic design by Peter Cohen. Title page illustration: Hermes Conducting a Soul to the Afterworld from a vase painting by the Phiale Painter. Set in Dante type. Printed on sheepskin parchment. Rare Books copy is lettered “XI.”

A Patron’s Family History Research Sheds Light on 17th Century Printing


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It is a matter of just displeasure to God, and sad grief of heart to the church, when civil states look at the estate of the church, as of little, or no concernment to themselves.

The bloudy tenent washed and made white in the bloud of the Lambe
John Cotton (1584-1652)
London: Printed by Matthew Symmons for Hannah Allen, at the Crowne in Popes Head-Alley, 1647
First edition
BV741 W58 C6

English Puritan preacher John Cotton fled to Boston, Massachusetts in 1633 to evade persecution by Anglican Church authorities. In the colony he became an advocate of decentralizing the church and allowing individual congregations to govern themselves. Cotton defended a rule that allowed only church members in good standing to vote and hold office in the colonial government and condemned the idea of democracy in which policy decisions were made in popular assemblies.

When Cotton arrived in Boston, Roger Williams was already in trouble with religious and political authorities. In 1635 he was convicted of heresy and spreading “new and dangerous ideas” and banished. Williams, supporter of religious freedom, separation of church and state; abolitionist; and ally to the American Indian, thought that the Puritans had not gone far enough in separating themselves from the beliefs and practices of the Church of England. Williams identified John Cotton with the Massachusetts Puritans and his tormentors, and his important tract on religious liberty, The Bloudy Tenent, was framed as a critique of Cotton. Cotton responded with his own Bloudy Tenent, a point-by-point rebuttal of Williams and a defense of the institution of the church. Cotton argued that the allowance of religious tolerance would give church members the sense that they could stray from a narrow path created by God.

And the Lord Jesus Christ himself (the God of Truth) who came into the world, that he might beare witnesse to the Truth, be pleased to beare witnesse from Heaven to his owne Truth and blast that peace (a fraudulent and false peace) which the Examiner proclaimeth to all the wayes of fashood in Religion, to Heresie in Doctrine, to Idolatry in worship, to blasphemy of the great Name of God, to Pollution, and prophanation of all his holy Ordinances. Amen, Even So, Come Lord Jesus

While visiting Special Collections from Plano, Texas in 2009, Craig Dalley perused The Feminine Touch, a Rare Books exhibition then installed in the Special Collections Gallery. In the exhibition was The Bloudy Tenent, a book he recognized as being printed by one of his distant ancestors. He published an article in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (Volume 170, Winter 2016), “Religious and Political Radicalism in London: The Family of Thomas Howse, with Massachusetts Connections, 1642-1665,” which includes a discussion of Hannah Howse Allen Chapman (ca. 1614-ca. 1665), a printer and the publisher of the above book. Last week, Mr. Dalley visited us again and graciously gave us a copy of this issue for our collection.

Hannah Howse’s first husband, Benjamin Allen (ca. 1596 – ca. 1646), had published at least two pamphlets along Puritan separatist lines. Hannah continued printing and publishing separatist material with her second husband, Livewell Chapman (ca. 1625 – ca. 1665).

In 1642, “Parliament declared a book published by Benjamin to be heretical and ordered it to be burned by the hangman. Benjamin died the following year, and Hannah ran the publishing business from his death until her remarriage in 1651. Hannah freed her apprentice, Livewell Chapman…in 1650 and married him by September 1651. During the five years that Hannah ran the business, she published at least fifty-four books and pamphlets and extended the business in a radical direction. Hannah’s second husband, Livewell Chapman, became the leading publisher of the radical Fifth Monarchist sect.”

Chapman was arrested several times for his publishing efforts. “…Livewell published so much anti-Cromwellian material that ‘his share of responsibility for the change of government [when Cromwell was deposed] may well have been considerable.'” In 1660, Livewell was accused of publishing treasonous books and imprisoned. His condition for release “included that he would not ‘att any time hereafter by or with the consent & privity of his Wife, or any other person whatsoever, print, publish, disperse, vend, or sell or cause to be printed, published, dispersed, vended or sold any unlicenced, treasonable, factious or seditious Booke or Pamphlet.'”

Printing and publishing was dangerous business. “Hannah and her husbands were considered to be radicals throughout their lives, regardless of who was at the helm of the government. They fared no better after the execution of Charles I than they had before the overthrow of the monarchy, or than they did after the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II.”

Mr. Dalley concludes, “Hannah Chapman…was a radical publisher whose husbands suffered continual legal troubles — before, during, and after the Protectorate — because of their publishing activities.” Amongst Mr. Dalley’s ancestors, he discovers “a circle of family and friends who were considered to be political and religious radicals.”

Mr. Dalley is an engineer who started his career working on the Hubble Space Telescope. He has researched John Lothrop, his London congregation, and allied families for about twenty years and is planning a book to document his Lothrop research.

Thank you, Mr. Dalley, for bringing life to this 371 year-old book.

From a Friend, “The Friend”


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Among the people to whom the present number of The Friend will come will be many who have never before seen it, or even heard of its existence. Its apology for appearing so unceremoniously among strangers is the fact that the recognition of two somewhat notable events seems to be called for at this time. The first of these is its own sixtieth anniversary, which occurs with this month’s issue. This marks one important milestone in a longer span of life than can be claimed by any other paper in these Islands or on the Mainland west of the Rocky Mountains. from The Friend, Vol. LX, No. XII, December, 1902

Rare Books is the happy recipient of a gift of a set of issues of The Friend, from our generous friend, Lou Weinstein. The donated set begins with a July 6, 1870 issue and ends with the March 1946 issue.

The first issue of The Friend was published in January 1842, originally under the name Temperance Advocate. After a number of variant name changes, The Friend became the official name beginning January 1, 1845. The newspaper began as a monthly periodical for seamen and included news from American and English newspapers. Gradually, the monthly expanded to feature announcements, advertisements, reprints of sermons, poetry, local news, editorials, arrivals and departures, marriages, and obituaries.

The paper was published by the Reverence Samuel Chenery Damon, who was sent by the American Seamen’s Friend Society to be chaplain in Honolulu. He was the pastor of the Bethel Union Church, Seamen’s Chapel for 42 years and editor of The Friend from 1843 to 1885. Under Reverend Damon, nearly one million copies of the newspaper were distributed.

The author imagines herself seated near the shore, where the waves of old ocean came rolling in from the main…”

The newspaper came under the editorship of the Board of Hawaiian Evangelical Association in April, 1902 where it remained until June 1954. Since then, it has continued under various names under the Hawaii Conference-United Church of Christ.

In March, 1853, a year after the founding of the mission to Micronesia, a chief named Matunui from one of the Marquesas Islands arrived at Lalahina in a whale ship with a son-in-law of his, who was a native of the island of Maui. He was from the island of Fatuhiwa, and came to ask that missionaries might be sent to his country to teach the people about the true God. He desired white Protestant missionaries, but would be thankful if he could secure some native Hawaiian teachers. This call sent a thrill through the native Hawaiian churches, and, under the inspiration of the true missionary spirit, gave liberally of their means, for sending forth a native Hawaiian mission to those islands. Not only did they give of their money but two of the best men of the land, Rev. James H. Kekela, and Rev. S. Kauwealoha, with their wives, volunteered to go as missisonaries for the blessing and uplifting of the most savage cannibal islanders of the Pacific Ocean. — Vol. LX, No. XII, December 1902

Mr. and Mrs. Poepoe have come from Hawaii to have charge of the work in the Koolau area under the auspices of the Hawaiian Board and the Woman’s Board of Missions. –Vol. CXVI, No. 3, March, 1946