We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

An American Girl in the Hawaiian Islands

Letters of Carrie Prudence Winter, 1890-1893

selected and edited by Sandra Bonura and Deborah Day

Publication Year: 2012

The book consists of selected and edited letters from Hawai’i during the revolution period (1890-1893) by Carrie Prudence Winter (1866-1942), a young missionary teacher at Kawaiaha’o Seminary in Honolulu describing in great detail the operation of the Seminary, the lives of the Hawaiian girls there, and her experiences in Hawai’i. Miss Winter listed all of her Hawaiian students, and the Who’s Who appendix identifies them and other individuals mentioned in the book. The book also reproduces some examples of student homework, including 4 autobiographical essays by children she taught. This book includes a foreword by Dr. C. Kalani Beyer, Kamehameha School graduate, a noted scholar in the history of Hawai’i and education. It includes a hand drawn map by the renowned artist, Barron Storey. The book is profusely illustrated by original photographs, most of which have never before been published.

Published by: University of Hawai'i Press

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (69.7 KB)
pp. vii-viii

It is impossible to mention all the dedicated scholars and family members of Carrie Winter’s students in Hawai‘i who not only showed us true aloha spirit but went over and above the call of duty to assist us in our efforts to track sources. During the entire research process, we were met with the delightful courtesy and warmth that we now know...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (89.3 KB)
pp. ix-xiv

An American Girl in the Hawaiian Islands provides a means for the reader to understand the history of Hawai‘i from the perspective of a teacher who was born in the United States who moved to the Islands to teach Hawaiian girls for three years. Contextualizing this history helps the reader understand the experiences Carrie Winter shares, including her...

read more

Notes on Transcription and Research

pdf iconDownload PDF (366.6 KB)
pp. xv-xx

The Kofoid Papers are held at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Archives, University of California–San Diego Libraries and include some forty cubic feet of correspondence dated from 1825 to 1947. Carrie Prudence Winter’s Hawaiian material consists of some three cubic feet of letters, photographs, objects, published material. This includes both...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (2.3 MB)
pp. xxi-xxxv

When an old house in Berkeley, California, passed from one generation to the next, it needed a new roof. That construction project revealed five old trunks in the attic that had been forgotten for more than a century. Four of the trunks contained valuable scientific research records, correspondence, photograph albums, old newspaper...

read more

1. An American Girl in the Hawaiian Islands August 15, 1890

pdf iconDownload PDF (113.0 KB)
pp. 1-13

It did seem a wild thing to do, to hasten from one’s great gala day, commencement to the Sandwich Islands. But then I had been guilty of strange things before. This going five or six hundred miles to attend a co-educational college, in the day of it, had been counted strange. But that was long passed now and...

read more

2. First Impressions August 29–October 26, 1890

pdf iconDownload PDF (2.5 MB)
pp. 14-44

Let me see if I can begin to remember all the new things—the banana trees, every house has them, there are whole plantations of them out toward the ocean, some continue growing, year in and out, while others simply spring up, bear a bunch, and die. The palms were the next most noticeable— some they say are 200 years old. They seem to have...

read more

3. Meeting Royalty November 16–December 21, 1890

pdf iconDownload PDF (761.3 KB)
pp. 45-65

Charlie, I am a very exalted personage—this last week I have hobnobbed with royalty so you may expect this letter to have a very aristocratic flavor. There is a very handsome lady visiting here now from California and Mrs. Dominis has made considerable of her and last Monday told her to invite...

read more

4. The King Is Dead January 12–April 15, 1891

pdf iconDownload PDF (2.3 MB)
pp. 66-100

The term has opened well and I think I can honestly say I have a little more hold on my girls. My room is full, every seat taken and on account of the numbers and the shortness of the time, it makes rapid work necessary in order to accomplish anything...

read more

5. Leprosy and Other Ailments April 26—July 17, 1891

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.1 MB)
pp. 101-120

Miss Pope and Miss Hoppin have a novel experience in store for them. They are going to start tonight with the Queen for Molokai and return tomorrow night. I quite envy them the chance. I don’t suppose I could have gone anyway and I knew nothing about it till after they had obtained her...

read more

6. Maui Summer July 17–August 30, 1891

pdf iconDownload PDF (185.6 KB)
pp. 121-136

I have been getting my outfit for my Maui expedition. I hope nothing will happen to make it fall through. I am to ride astride and have made myself a dress for the occasion. It is the kind of cloth that overalls are made of only it is pretty for it is a fine stripe of brown and blue. There is a...

read more

7. Back To School September 6, 1891–January 15, 1892

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.0 MB)
pp. 137-164

The last steamer brought our 3 new teachers. I have been matron and with so few girls to work, have had my hands full. Miss Appleton came back yesterday and we are all ready for the start tomorrow morning and we have got our hands full too...

read more

8. Politics and Punishment February 2–April 10, 1892

pdf iconDownload PDF (993.7 KB)
pp. 165-186

I have a number of interesting things to write you about and if you please my dear, I’ll begin on politics. They are great fun here. Once in two years there is an election here and the last one took place last Wednesday. Each island is divided into sections which send one representative to the legislature...

read more

9. Riding Mattie May 1–June 26, 1892

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.3 MB)
pp. 187-203

My horse is back. You can’t think how badly I felt over it. I said to myself “I don’t quite think Carl approves of your getting that horse and now if you have lost her out right he won’t love you anymore and he will say ‘I’ll not give her a chance to lose $60 for me.’” But she is back, Carl. She had wandered...

read more

10. Big Island Summer July 3–August 26, 1892

pdf iconDownload PDF (263.3 KB)
pp. 204-225

I left you last Tuesday morning, finishing my packing with the aid of dear little Zelie. Word came to me indirectly at lunch time that Mr. Oliver Emerson was going on the trip also. At the last moment he rushed aboard with his arms full of papers...

read more

11. The Queen in Crisis September 4–October 23, 1892

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.1 MB)
pp. 226-240

What a country this is! Of course you know the country is on the verge of bankruptcy and that there is little prospect of relief and now comes Satan in the form of a branch of the Louisiana Lottery and last week this proposal was made in the legislature: “If you will let us come here and establish...

read more

12. Down with Malaria November 9–December 25, 1892

pdf iconDownload PDF (815.8 KB)
pp. 241-255

I knew you would worry if I didn’t write and I suppose when I tell you I have a light attack of fever, you will anyway. Well dear, don’t any more than you can help, and hold on for just a week and you are sure to hear that I am well. It began Saturday. The doctor says it may last a week. Miss Pope is kind...

read more

13. The Revolution January 1–March 19, 1893

pdf iconDownload PDF (3.8 MB)
pp. 256-284

So you see at last this year has come to its opening. I suppose in many, many lives it has been the year of promise for a long time. How many have we heard say, “I will do this and so when ’93 comes.” Even for me, it must contain trial, disappointment and weariness, but I must confess my...

read more

14. Homeward Bound April 1–June 13, 1893

pdf iconDownload PDF (2.3 MB)
pp. 285-302

I am coming to the conclusion that love letters are not all they sometimes are claimed to be. What dry bones they are! I want something infinitely better. I am not at all satisfied with these paper sentiments, are you? Let’s raise a revolt, let’s strike, have a Revolution or something...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (380.4 KB)
pp. 303-308

At long last, Carrie Prudence Winter became Mrs. Charles Atwood Kofoid on June 30, 1894. She was married by her father at the family home in Connecticut and soon dropped the name Carrie. She took her middle name and became Prudence W. Kofoid. Carrie Winter, the schoolteacher, was forever left behind in Honolulu, and it was...

Appendix: Who’s Who in Carrie Winter’s Letters

pdf iconDownload PDF (352.4 KB)
pp. 309-391


pdf iconDownload PDF (22.5 KB)
pp. 392

Selected Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF (102.3 KB)
pp. 393-408


pdf iconDownload PDF (227.0 KB)
pp. 409-417

E-ISBN-13: 9780824837228
Print-ISBN-13: 9780824836276

Publication Year: 2012

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Winter, Carrie Prudence, 1866-1942 -- Correspondence.
  • Women missionaries -- Hawaii -- Correspondence.
  • Missions -- Educational work -- Hawaii.
  • Hawaii -- History -- To 1893.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access