Lot 1239

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Outstanding content A.L.S. from missionary Charlotte A. Knapp, 4pp. 4to., Honolulu, March 28, 1842, addressed to her cousin in Connecticut, elaborately discussing the French and British occupation of the Islands during the 'Paulet Affair', a five-month occupation of the Hawaiian Islands by British naval officer Captain Lord George Paulet, of HMS Carysfort. In part: 'April 3rd...You will probably hear these Islands are in possession of the English by communications which went to the U. States nearly a month ago...We were expecting the place would be fired upon for a few hours, though we felt very different from what we did when Capt. La Place was here, because the Capt. and officers had treated us politely and if he had not, there was an American ship of war here to look out for the Americans....I always had great dread of war and to be in the midst of it is a different thing from hearing of it at a distance....It was so unexpected that we hardly knew what to think or do - if it had been a French vessel we would not have been surprised but we hardly expected such a course to be pursued by an Englishman....It is all over and though we do not justify the course pursued...we cannot but think that the Lord will cause it to work for the good of his cause. There is no reason to doubt but the French would have taken the Islands if the Eng. had not - we heard last Jan. they were coming but did not place confidence in it...The French Consul says there will be trouble now when they come, perhaps they will make demands but they will find they have somebody besides Toauheaouli to deal with...' She first refers here to the 1839 LAPLACE AFFAIR, a military intervention by the Kingdom of France four years earlier to end the persecution of Catholics in the Kingdom of Hawaii, promoted by Protestant ministers...quite obviously including Mrs. Knapp. Despite her clear distaste for the English occupation, she also writes positively of Lord Paulet - the driving force behind the ongoing conflict. In part: '...Lord Paulet invited the missionaries to dine on board ship last Friday...he and his two lieutenants did everything they could to make their visit pleasant...His Lordship shows himself friendly to our operations and will probably attend our examinations of school next week...' She then notably adds: '...One have hope for a number of children in our schools that they are Christian - the Spirit of the Lord has not forsaken the people - On Hawaii especially there has been a very interesting state of things for about three or four years, and we have reason to be encouraged...' Especially relevant, since the 'Laplace affair' and 'Paulet affair' both occurred within a four-year span. Much more detailed, with much of the text cross-written across the pages for lack of space. Strong folds, some show-through to the interior pages not impacting text, else near fine condition. Sold with a typescript. An outstanding piece of Hawaiiana.

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May 23, 2021 10:00 AM EDT
Chesapeake City, MD, US

Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

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