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1 1 An American Girl in the Hawaiian Islands August 15, 1890 Miss Winter wrote this article at the request of her brother, Mahlon Winter, for Southern Magazine, a new magazine edited by Mrs. Annie Smith of Raleigh, Virginia . It was published in the January 1893 issue, pages 7 to 16. It did seem a wild thing to do, to hasten from one’s great gala day, commencement to the Sandwich Islands.1 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 because I could not carry out my early wishes to be a missionary this teaching for a few years among the Sandwich Islands seemed particularly attractive. Several of our graduates had gone to the islands to teach and there were a few young people from Honolulu attending school in R—. The necessary preliminaries were at last completed. I wrote to the trustees of Kawaiahao Seminary which name I thought I never could pronounce, in due time received a favorable answer, gained reluctant consent from all my relatives, wrote and telegraphed, hither and thither, was put in communication with the young lady in Columbus who was to accompany me2 and, at last, the fact stood out bare and plain, I was going to Honolulu to teach in a school for native girls. But where are the Sandwich or Hawaiian Islands which latter is the official name and the one to be preferred for many reasons? The idea of most people on this subject is very vague. We all know there are numerous groups of islands in the Pacific, and people are apt to locate them with others in the South Sea region. My own idea was that if one sailed straight out from San Francisco he would reach the islands. A glance at the map shows the error, for they are in a south-westerly direction from San Francisco and just within the tropics. After my decision was made I found many bits of information coming to my attention. I availed myself of every opportunity to find 2 AN AMERICAN GIRL out about the country so as to make intelligent preparations. Everything was very expensive in Honolulu so I must make ample provision of clothing, shoes, etc. The first week in July I was free to return to my Connecticut home and then only six short weeks before my departure! How the time flew! How hurried the preparations seemed! How pleasant the brief family reunions, the delightful family excursions, and how sad the parting when I looked into the loved faces and thought with fear of the changes that might take place in the period of separation. Friends went with me as far as Springfield, Mass., but when I boarded the noon express for Albany and the familiar faces quickly vanished, I felt that the new experience had indeed begun. I was to meet Miss P. in Chicago and I felt that I knew the way there having been over that route a number of times. It was August 15, 1890, when I left home. That summer there was a strike on the New York Central and the train which I took was the first one that had gone through in many days. At every station crowds of idle men were to be seen and on the side-track numerous empty cars. In every one of the large towns, of which there are so many in central New York, policemen were stationed at regular intervals along the track. This was all interesting to me. It was a new sight in that beautiful Mohawk valley. All the afternoon quite a pretty young girl occupied the seat with me and from commenting on the scenes through which we were passing we gradually engaged in a more personal conversation. She was well dressed and was evidently off on a vacation with a well filled purse. I found myself wondering what her social position was. She looked respectable, and I had about made up my mind that she was an orphan with money of her own who ruled it over on indulgent guardian, making her own friends, when she revealed the fact that she was head milliner in a large establishment in a Hudson town. I was filled with helpless astonishment. She was evidently several years younger than I, and yet for years...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780824837228
Related ISBN
9780824836276
MARC Record
OCLC
821735443
Launched on MUSE
2012-09-21
Language
English
Open Access
No
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