American Seamen's Friend Society, Bethel Union Church, Board of Hawaiian Evangelical Association, cannibal, Fatuhiwa, Hawaii Conference-United Church of Christ, Hawaiian, Hawaiian Board, Honolulu, Koolau, Lalahina, Marquesas Islands, Matunui, Maui, Micronesia, missionaries, Missionary, Pacific Ocean, Protestant, Rev. James H. Kekela, Rev. S. Kauwealoha, Woman's Board of Missions
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 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