What was it that ignited Hawaii's economy like a great rocket

What was it that ignited Hawaii's economy like a great rocket in the 1960s? The answer seems to be statehood. Up to 1959, there had been a decline in the Islands' traditional agricultural base, and many young people were leaving for the mainland in search of better opportunities. Waikiki Beach was still a low-density spot with lots of calm and vegetation, harboring only a handful of hotels. Travel to the Islands was within the reach of a much narrower group of mainlanders, and those who did come tended to choose a cruise ship and then stay for at least a week or two.

Statehood seemed to change all this, for reasons mostly psychological. The battle to become the 50th state generated reams of stateside magazine and newspaper copy about Hawaii, almost all of it favorable. When the bill passed Congress, Hawaii was suddenly no more some kind of primitive colony but a very real part of the American Union and one most Americans were curious to see. And now all the uneasy fears -- that there might be special shots required to go to Hawaii, or that the currency might be different, or other comical concerns of the pre-statehood period -- began to drop away. Direct jet service was inaugurated about the same time, and it was only a few hours from the West Coast. And for Hawaii's economic health, the new image also said that it was now a safe place to invest money.

"If one were to pick four items that symbolized what has happened to Hawaii in the first 10 years since statehood," writer Harold Hostetler of the HonoluluAdvertiser commented in 1969, "he might choose a bulldozer, a construction crane, a cement mixer, and a carpenter's hammer. Combined, those four tools have done more to change the face of Hawaii in just 10 years than has all the activity of man since the Islands were first settled by the ancient Polynesians."

The surge of business and inflation of values was apparent in almost every facet of Hawaii life. The value of property, including both lands and buildings, rose 300 percent in the state as a whole and by nearly 400 percent on the island of Oahu.

The ethnic history of the Hawaiian Islands

The ethnic history of the Hawaiian Islands is thought to go back approximately to the eighth century A.D., when Polynesians in long-distance canoes made their incredible voyages over hundreds of miles of open sea, probably from the Marquesas and Society Islands, to discover and settle the archipelago. Four hundred years later, still more Polynesians came from Tahiti. When Captain Cook's ships first came upon the Islands in 1778, some 300,000 natives lived there. Seventy-five years later, after ample exposure to white man's culture and his diseases (starting with syphilis carried by men off Cook's Resolution and Discovery), only 71,000 natives remained. In 1872., the combined count of native Hawaiians and haoles (Caucasians) in the Islands was 56,897, the lowest population count on record. By the mid-1960s, according to one count, only 9,741 Hawaiians of pure native ancestry remained.

Nevertheless, the ethnic history of Hawaii is considered a model of successful mingling of the world's races -- as one Hawaii politician put it in an interview, "the salvation light of civilization." In 1970 the state statistician, Robert Schmitt, listed the nonmilitary population of the Islands this way:

Japanese 34.3%
Hawaiian and part-Hawaiian 21.1%
Caucasian 19.0%
Filipino 8.8%
Chinese 6.2%
Other races and mixtures 10.6%

Of this unique aggregate of peoples, all save the Caucasians and native Hawaiians are descended from some 400,000 foreign-born laborers who had been brought to Hawaii during the preceding century to man the great sugar and pineapple plantations. In order of introduction, these were Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Puerto Rican, Korean, Spanish, and Filipino. At first the native Hawaiians and the haoles considered them all "foreigners." But the weight of numbers -- and thereby the future -- rested with the newcomers.

As early as the 1920s, when the old plantation system still held full sway, it was easy to travel to Hawaii and come away convinced that the ultimate melting pot had been discovered. William Allen White did just that in 1925, reporting after a conference he had attended in Honolulu that Hawaii was the one place in the world where "the so-called race problem is [not] acute," where the eyes of the men of the "brown, black and the yellow [races] of the earth and their mulattoes are [not] looking with suspicion and rage and bitterness into the blue eyes of the men of the northern ruling race of today," and where "race antipathies have disappeared because...race injustices are not in vogue."

White was fundamentally wrong. It was true that actual laws of racial discrimination did not exist in the Islands. Both the earlier traders and the missionaries -- the former out of a profit motive, the latter because of Christian belief -- had treated native Hawaiians with some deference and respect. Plantation life, however arduous, did include an opportunity for the schooling of children, thus giving them the keys for their future emancipation. But the haole still dominated Hawaii as a preferred race, straight up to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Hawaii of the pre-World War II era was a Hawaii of many social divisions with a superficial frosting of aloha. Americans of Japanese ancestry were considered locally and nationally as an alien people. The Hawaiian people -- that marvelous, extraordinary Polynesian society which suffered so much, so patiently, at the hands of the Caucasian -- were innocent victims of misguided benevolent paternalism which treated them as valuable children to be used primarily for entertaining tourists or to put away out of sight on poor quality houselots called homesteads....

The Chinese people were no better off than those of Japanese ancestry, and our newly arrived Filipinos were at the bottom of the ladder of social acceptance.

All of this was broken, decisively, by two events surrounding World War II. The first was in regard to the Japanese, who were immediately thrown under a dark cloud of suspicion by the attack on Pearl Harbor. Several hundreds were placed in internment camps, and all were subject to ugly slurs about their patriotism. Then they proceeded to demonstrate their patriotism beyond any shadow of doubt. Not a single act of wartime sabotage by a Japanese was ever reported in the Islands. The Japanese community led in the purchase of war bonds and gave freely to the blood bank. And as soon as Japanese military enlistments were permitted, the all-Japanese looth Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team were formed. Off they went to Italy and France, to fight with great valor and suffer cruel losses.

Oahu: Where the Action Is

Whatever the charm of the Neighbor Islands may be, the island of Oahu and its city of Honolulu are where the people are and where the action is, now and probably for many more decades to come. The reason intensive development started here, rather than elsewhere, is that Honolulu and contiguous Pearl Harbor are the only safe deep-water ports in all the islands.

By 2000, the population of Oahu reached 876,151. The 2006 Census indicated 377,357 people in the city of Honolulu itself, growing more slowly than the remainder of the island. Many consider Oahu's development dangerously fast and helterskelter -- a subject to which we will return later -- but the fact is that a fantastic amount of human activity has been crowded into this relatively small island (about 40 miles long and 20 miles wide), with the natural environment still largely intact.

Honolulu could be seen gleaming white in the distance, with the familiar bulk of Diamond Head just beyond it. Ranging from the city northward was the spiny ridge of the Koolau Range, dividing windward Oahu from Honolulu. A constant veil of clouds on the mountains mixed with sunshine splashing across the island's central valley of sugar cane and pineapple fields in their distinctive verdant mantles. More southerly, the three great fingers (lochs) of Pearl Harbor could be seen and, beyond that, the emerald green at ocean's edge leading into the cobalt blue of Pacific sky and water.

A drive around Oahu quickly reveals a land heavily touched by civilization but still beautiful and varied in the extreme. Within an hour or two, one can come on smooth white beaches and rocky foam-swept coast, placid lagoons and an anomalous section of "interstate" highways, massive sugar cane and pineapple plantations and smaller farms that grow coconut palms and bananas and avocados, precipitous cliffs and raw jungle, the ominous beginnings of California-style subdivisions and condominium apartments but also flower-bedecked villages on low stilts.

The Honolulu metropolitan concentrate is still largely confined to a comile stretch of Oabu's southern plain, anchored by Pearl Harbor on the west and Koko Head (beyond Diamond Head) on the east. The settlement pokes fingers into the mountains that rim it, but basically the Koolau Range is too massive and craggy to be violated. It may be the very ruggedness of Hawaii's volcanic mountain terrain, in fact, that holds back the worst kind of metropolitan sprawl.

Moving west to cast along the coastal strip, here are some of the principal features:

Pearl Harbor, a reservation of some 100,000 acres, combines not only the vivid history of December 7, 1941. Honolulu Harbor, just a few miles cast of Pearl, remains the fulcrum through which passes most of that vast array of goods which Hawaii cannot or will not make for itself. There is still a color and pageantry that no jetliner's arrival can match when one of the big passenger liners steams into port or away, its coming and going punctuated with an outpouring of hula troupes, flowers, and music of the Hawaiian. (Modern life seems too short of those moments, with their delicious sentimentality.)

A block or two to the east one comes on Iolani Palace, a wonderful old Victorian extravagance completed by the last of the Hawaiian kings, Kalakaua, at a cost of some $350,000 in 1882, The old palace, all done up in the iron and grillwork considered so elegant in its time, fairly reeks with history. Queen Liliuokalani ( 1891-93) ruled from its chambers until her autocratic ways led to the overthrow of the monarchy; two years later, after an attempted counterinsurrection, she was held prisoner in the palace for nine months. Sanford Ballard Dole, the son of a missionary who led the republican revolution in the Islands, ruled from the palace first as president of the independent republic of Hawaii (starting in 1893) and then as the first Presidentially-appointed governor of the new territory. (Ceremonies to mark Hawaii's annexation to the United States were held on the front steps of the palace on August 12, 1898, with an emotional moment when the Stars and Stripes were first raised.)

Hawaii Big Island, Oahu, Maui, Kauai

The 2000 population count of the Big Island was 148,677, just over 20 percent of Oahu's. Should the island begin to play a larger role in Hawaii in the next decades, it would only be a return to historic times. This was the island believed to be first inhabited by the Polynesians, perhaps around 750 A.D. The first European sea captain to set his foot in Hawaii, Captain James Cook, met his death at Hawaii's Kealakekua Bay in 1779. And the first American missionaries landed at Kona, which is the site of the first Christian church in the islands. A few miles to the south of Kailua the Painted Church perches on a flower-decked ocean hillside. The early padres had colorful murals painted on the interior walls to give the native congregation the unconfined, out-of-doors feeling to which they were accustomed. Within the tiny church, a century of history suddenly falls away and one is again at the tender and difficult early juncture point of the Hawaiian and western cultures.

Between the Big Island and Oahu is Maui, the second largest island in the chain, and its three small neighbors -- Molokai, Lanai, and Kaboolawe. The county of Maui, which includes all four, noted a 2000 population of 117,644, all but 15 percent on Maui itself.

Maui is called the Valley Isle, for the simple reason that it consists of two volcanic mountains separated by a low isthmus. One of the peaks, West Maui, is ancient in geologic time, but not so Haleakala, the "House of the Sun," a 10,023-foot volcano which last erupted sometime around 1790. Today it is the world's largest dormant (but still very explodable) volcano, with a 33-square-mile crater that the National Geographic says could swallow Manhattan Island and all its skyscrapers. Within it are smaller crater cones, caverns, a desert plain, forest niches, green meadows, and rare plants. Haleakala is a national park, and with good reason, for its slopes are also wonders in themselves. Its southern slopes, away from the trade winds, are and reminders of the mainland Southwest. But on the east side, some 300 inches of rain in a year pound thick forest and dense underbrush. Nurtured by the rainfall, giant tree ferns and ghostly epiphytes enlace towering ohia trees. Ponds and grottos mirror Iobelia plants crowned by horizontal sprays of 30 to 60 blossoms. Colorful and sometimes rare native birds feed among the flowers, and wild pigs and goats, which may have been introduced by early Polynesian migrants, root in the upper reaches of the forest. In the late 1960s, a 4,300acre strip of this land, descending all the way from the crater to the Pacific Ocean, was added to the park by the Nature Conservancy and Laurance Rockefeller.

Maui also offers some 33 miles of beaches, some of black volcanic origin, others of golden sand, many among the most beautiful in all the Islands. The island, it has been reported, still lives on "Hawaiian time," meaning that a relaxed, leisurely, and nonurban pace of life still endures.

Only the past decades have brought major tourist developments, the first big undertaking financed by one of Hawaii's oldest companies, American Factors (now Amfac, Inc.) on the beach at Kaanapali on the leeward west coast. Bigger things are coming with an $850 million development jointly sponsored by Alexander and Baldwin, another old Hawaii company, together with the Grosvenor Estate of Britain. It will be a "City of Flowers," built on a horizontal plan along the slopes of Haleakala with a two-mile ocean frontage.

A "wry little jollity" concerning Maui, Robert Sutton reports, is calling Kahului (pop. 20,146) and its five-mile-distant neighbor Wailuku (12,296) "the twin cities of Maui." Kahului is new and progressive with a large shopping center; Wailuku, its arch rival, is the county seat with official buildings dressed in the architectural dignity of a bygone age, sprinkled in pleasant disarray over the town's hilly and tree-shaded streets.

Maui's neighbor, Molokai, with 261 square miles, is commonly depicted as the Friendly Isle because its inhabitants are thought of as the most affable of all Hawaiians. In times past, Molokai was known principally to mainlanders -- and many other Hawaiians -- as the locale of the leper colony on the Kalaupapa peninsula, celebrated in stories like Jack London's tale of Koolau the Leper or James Michener's Hawaii. Still revered and honored is Father Damien, the Belgian who arrived at Kalaupapa in 1873 as one of the first white men to work among the patients there. He died there of leprosy some 16 years later. The state's Hansen's Disease Treatment Center (reflecting the more enlightened modern name for the disease) continues on the Kalaupapa peninsula, to which many thousands were exiled to die before the discovery of sulfone drugs brought the dread disease under control in the 1940s. There are still some oldtimers, whose bodies were terribly afflicted by the disease before discovery of the drug, living at the facility. When the last of them die, the center will probably be closed.

Molokai's age-old problem has been water. Its eastern end has rain forests, but the west is dry and barren. Now one of Hawaii's first nation's most unique water diversion schemes has been constructed, the project brought to fruition by a resourceful contractor, David F. Wisdom of Wisdom Rubber Industries. A 104-acre reservoir has been built to collect and hold the runoff from the rain forest in the eastern highlands, its bottom covered with a unique nylon-reinforced butyl rubber lining that is cheaper than concrete. The water is then conveyed by a concrete tunnel through volcanic rock to central and western Molokai, thus preserving pineapple fields and providing the supply for big resorts like those now being considered or built by big developers on the western tip of the island.

The island of Lanai, just west of Maui and south of Molokai, is the perfect company town. The island was bought in 1922 by James D. Dole, founder of the company which bears his name. In a model of soil conservation, the Dole engineers laid out the central plateau in contours, planted thousands of Norfolk pines to prevent hillside erosion, sowed grass seeds, and developed wells. In 1985, Lanai passed into the control of David H. Murdock, as a result of his purchase of Castle & Cooke. Today the island is a picture of productivity.

All the Neighbor Islands we have spoken of so far are east of Oahu. There is one major island farther west, some 95 miles out toward Midway. It is Kauai, 551 square miles of lush and tropical beauty, so much the personification of the idyllic South Sea isle that Hollywood has chosen it as the location for South Pacific and many other films of like theme.

Kauai was the first of the Hawaiian chain to emerge from the sea, and has been without volcanic activity longer than any of its neighbors. This has permitted the lavas to erode into rich black and red soil that is carved by constant rains into colorful canyons and deep valleys covered with wondrous plants and floral exuberance. Green-carpeted canefields, deserted white beaches lined with clusters of coconut palms, frowning cliffs, swamps and abysmal crevices, areas of utter remoteness, and a central volcanic peak almost eternally surrounded by clouds -- these are the hallmarks of Kauai, well named the Garden Island. Mount Waialeale, according to Herman V. von Holt, a leading Hawaiian businessman who helped install a rain gauge there in 1910, has an incredible average of more than 50 feet of rain every year, making it the wettest spot on earth. Only a few miles away, by contrast, there is a place where less than one foot a year is recorded.

The 58,303 people who live on Kauai make their living first from agriculture (22 percent of Hawaii's sugar cane, plus pineapple and livestock), second from tourism (with new resort hotels opened in the 1960s), and third from scientific-military installations. All this modernity contrasts with a long history. This was the island Captain James Cook first discovered in 1778; the Russians once built a fort there and withdrew only after warnings from Great Britain; and Kauai was the last independent kingdom of the Islands.

Off the coast of Kauai lies Niihau, the "forbidden island," the private property of the Robinson family ever since King Kamehameha IV sold it to a familial ancestor for $10,000 in 1864. The Robinsons were Scots whose idea was to preserve on the island the gentle life of the native Hawaiians they found there.

Oahu and Neighbor Islands

The island of Hawaii not only covers 63 percent of the state's entire land area but is still growing through volcanic activity. I cannot recall any other place where the elemental forces of earth-building are so clear to see. Volcanic fumes leak out from a thousand orifices, and along great sweeps of the coastline one sees immense flows of hardened lava from outbreaks of the last few decades. One flow in 1960 added some 500 acres to the eastern coast. Mauna Loa (13,677 feet above sea level) is the world's most active present-day volcano. This mountain's volcanic activity has been going on over so many eons of time that its land mass of 2,000 square miles above the ocean make it the largest single mountain in the world. Its now dormant neighbor, snow-clad Mauna Kea (elevation 13,784), is believed to be the world's largest mountain in height, assuming one counts the rise both below and above the sealine.

While most of the volcanic eruptions pose little immediate danger to human life, they have wiped out villages in recent times, and there are continual fears that the prosperous city of Hilo on Hawaii's east coast could one day be damaged or wiped out by rifts from Mauna Loa's flank. There is little the city can do in defense or prevention. In the meantime, Hilo thrives as a sugar-loading port, county seat, and tourist center. It is a reflection of Honolulu's dominance that this little city is actually second largest in the entire state.

In the prevailing pattern of the archipelago, the Big Island has a verdant, moist northeastern side where the trade winds deposit the burden of clouds blown in over thousands of miles of open sea. The southwestern flank, by contrast, is dry and hot. Within a few miles, one can find tropical rain forest and prime agricultural land, misty plateaus and true desert. Sugar cane and cattle ranching are the traditional and still important farm industries, but Hawaii has long been America's leading orchid center and is unique in the U.S. for coffee growing along its eastern Kona coast. Now there is also a prosperous business in macadamia nut growing. Hawaii may make a lot of money over the long run from harvesting of its vast hardwood forests.

The Big Island's two big economic advances of recent years, however, have sprung from tourism. The first was the opening of Laurance Rockefeller's Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and golf course on the and South Kobola Coast. Land for the resort was sliced from the Parker Ranch, outranked in size only by the King spread in Texas. Travel writers who have had the time and money to go there report that the resort may be the most lavish on earth. Mauna Kea's setback architecture blends with rather than dominates the terrain, and the building contains a collection of fine Asian art. The guest is offered "rest, quiet, excellent food and absolute seclusion," and the diversions for the more adventurous range from golf on breathtaking occanside courses to "women, surfing, skin diving, tennis, wild boar hunting, pheasant shooting, or the great deep-sea fishing only lo miles away." With my time limited, I chose to visit volcanos and little seashore towns instead; perhaps it was a poor decision.

The Big Island's second big boost came from the start of direct jet flights between Hilo and the West Coast. A tour pattern developed in which Hilo became a popular exit gateway for tourists on their way back to the mainland, beginning the first major challenge to Oahu's monopoly on tourist days and dollars. Adverse reaction to the overcrowding of Honolulu has also contributed to interest in the numerous resort and land developments on Hawaii and other Neighbor Islands.

The rise of the sugar industry in Hawaii's economic history

With business expanding, Captain Hackfeld decided to improve his sources of supply, seek new lines, and strengthen his connections. Since this required a two-year trip to Europe, he left his young partner Pflueger in complete charge. The business then consisted of two stores, the agency for the two sugar plantations, and the commercial agency of the Russian government, an excellent business connection which Dr. Wood had recently turned over to the company.

At the close of the fiscal year on June 30, 1855 the youthful manager struck off the first statement covering the business. Assets had climbed to $93,711. Liabilities were $48,059, leaving a "balance to net capital" of $45,652. The assets included a dwelling house on Fort Street valued at $3,514. The amount invested in the "Upper Store" now totaled $9,149, and the net profit of that store for the preceding two-year period was $7,765.

To house the company in more commodious quarters, Dr. Wood erected a two-story building on Queen Street, of pressed brick with granite trimmings, with a slate roof. The first day in the new home, July 9, 1856, was celebrated by the company with a public lunch attended by many citizens.

An important change had occurred in the Island monarchy the year before. King Kamehameha III died December 15, 1854, and on January 11, 1855, his adopted son and heir, Alexander Liholiho, ascended the throne as King Kamehameha IV. In the following year, the King married the lovely Emma Rooke, granddaughter of the Englishman John Young, who had been an aide to King Kamehameha I.

The wedding was followed by a great ball in the palace at night, and later the royal pair made a tour of the Islands. In the days that followed there were many parties for the young couple. Most of them were given in the new Court House, the second largest building in town, located at the corner of Queen and Fort Streets.

Brightly lighted with whale oil lamps and candles, some glowing through colored, translucent paper, and adorned with beautifully arranged flowers, the hall was a brilliant spectacle. Guests alighted from their carriages and ascended the steps to bow before the raised dais where their Majesties sat. Behind them, life-sized illuminated figures formed the Hawaiian coat of arms. It was this Court House building, scene of many gay memories in the days of King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma, which later became part of the American Factors, Ltd., establishment.

One of the first concerns of the new King and Queen was the physical welfare of the Hawaiian people. In his first message to the Legislature, the King asked its members to consider the subject of establishing public hospitals. The birth rate among the native population was low and the death rate alarmingly high. Although disease was prevalent, very little effort was made to prevent it. The measles epidemic in 1848 and the smallpox epidemic in 1853 had been fatal to thousands of Hawaiians. Government funds were not available for some time, but after a law was passed permitting establishment of a hospital, the King and Queen took it upon themselves to raise the money through their own personal efforts. Within a few weeks they succeeded in getting enough pledges to their subscription fund to build the first general hospital in the Pacific area. Started in 1860, it has been described as their Majesties' "finest monument." Among the subscribers was Captain Hackfeld.

The fifties was a significant decade of economic transition for Hawaii. These were the final big years of the whaling trade, which for more than two decades had been the backbone of Hawaii's economy. The American Civil War and the new use of petroleum in the United States brought an end to the industry. As early as 1860, observers began to point out that "the good old days" were over.

The rise of the sugar industry, coming at such a crucial time in Hawaii's economic history, seemed like an act of Providence. But the sugar industry was to experience many difficulties before it could grow out of its infancy. An issue of the Pacific Commercial Advertiser in 1859 published statistics showing that sugar exports had increased from 145 tons in 1855 to 913 tons for 1858. But these statistics do not tell the whole story. In the early fifties there had been a severe collapse of the industry, largely resulting from the boom proportions it had at first assumed. The number of plantations in active operation had dwindled to five -- Koloa and Lihue on Kauai; East Maui and Brewer on Maui, and a fifth on Hawaii near Hilo. Too frequently, the industry was affected by events outside the Islands. During the California Gold Rush the price of sugar had risen to 18 and 20 cents a pound, but three years later it was noted that "the low price of sugar is ruining the planters, two having already failed."

Native Hawaiians had not adapted themselves to field labor, and now their number was rapidly decreasing. From a population of 130,000 in 1830, the total had fallen to 70,000. It became apparent that if the new industry was to advance, outside labor would have to be imported. The first effort in that direction was made in 1852, when recruiters from the Islands went to China and selected the hardiest from the swarms of applicants who wanted to work in Hawaii. Sponsored by the Royal Hawaiian Agricultural Society, the project resulted in the importation of about 300 Chinese.

The experiment failed to come up to expectations, though in later years China provided one of the chief sources for immigrant labor. Not until 1864 when a Bureau of Immigration was established did foreign laborers begin to arrive in Hawaii in considerable numbers. Until that time, native Hawaiians were, necessarily, the chief source of manpower in the sugar industry.

Captain Hackfeld returned from his European travels in the spring of 1857. About that time an interesting development was occurring at the Lihue plantation on Kauai -- a plantation which in later years appointed H. Hackfeld & Co. as its sugar factors. After a five-year struggle against many odds, a ditch was finally dug that would bring water to its fields. It was the first sugar plantation in the Islands to use irrigation. The suggestion that water would improve the yield came from a young immigrant named Paul Isenberg, who remembered the irrigation canals of his native Germany. His idea met with much opposition but, having enlisted the support of one of the owners, W. H. Rice, Isenberg was provided with enough workers to complete the job. This irrigation method proved beneficial. In 1862 Paul Isenberg was appointed manager of the Lihue Plantation.

One of the important social events of that same year was a grand ball given by Captain and Mrs. Hackfeld in the Court House building to honor the officers of the Russian ships then in Honolulu harbor. About 500 invitations were issued.

It was also a year of nation-wide mourning. A young son born to King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma in 1858 died in August 1862. His death was followed by the death of King Kamehameha IV on November 30, 1863 at the age of 29. His brother, Prince Lot, ascended the throne as King Kamehameha V.

The new King was of the opinion that a strong native monarchy was the best form of government for Hawaii. He disapproved of the constitution of 1852 on the grounds that it was too far ahead of the development of the Ha-

waiians and the needs of the country. A forceful personality, he proclaimed a new constitution in 1864, which was a revision of the former one. It restricted voting to those who owned a certain amount of property and who, if born after 1840, could read and write. Its total effect was to increase the power of the King by giving him wider authority in government activities. Although there was considerable opposition to it, the new constitution became the fundamental law of the land for nearly a quarter of a century.

Sugar cane was indigenous to Hawaii

In 1844 Robert C. Wyllie, who later became Hawaii's Minister of Foreign Relations, made the mournful statement that "The prosperity of these islands . . . does depend mainly upon the whale ships that annually flock to their ports. . . . Were the whale fishery to fall off . . . the Sandwich Islands would relapse to their primitive insignificance."

There was some justification for his pessimism. The whaling trade could not be expected to go on indefinitely. Mr. Wyllie and others worried about the welfare of Hawaii saw nothing that could take its place. Except for sandalwood, which had been quickly depleted, Hawaii had not yet developed an important enough export of its own with which it could obtain the increasing quantity of goods its population was requiring. By the middle of the century there had been a number of experiments in the raising of cotton, silk and tobacco but none had become profitable enough to excite much interest. Moreover, it was far easier to do business with the whalers than it was to give the soil the time and patience which extensive cultivation required.

Most persons in Hawaii in the middle of the nineteenth century overlooked the possibilities of one native resource that was to provide the Islands with their greatest boon. That resource was sugar. Its development as a profitable product took many long and discouraging years of hard work, but when it finally emerged, it became the motivating force in Hawaii's economy.

Captain Cook noted that sugar cane was indigenous to Hawaii. Yet so complex were the problems of cultivating it that no extensive effort to produce sugar was made until 1835. Even as late as 1837 the total output for that year was only two tons. The first sugar-making in Hawaii is attributed to a Chinese who, arriving on a ship trading in sandalwood, brought with him a vertical mill and two boilers. He set up his apparatus on the Island of Lanai, raised a small crop of cane, and made some sugar; but he soon became discouraged and returned to China. During the 1820'S there were several other attempts, including that of an Italian named Lavinia who hired natives to crush the cane on poi-boards with stone beaters and boil the resulting juice in a copper kettle. But none of these ventures were commercially successful.

The actual founders of the sugar industry were three New Englanders by the names of William Ladd, William Hooper and Peter Allan Brinsmade who established the first systematic sugar plantation at Koloa, Kauai in 1835. Their lease, obtained from King Kamehameha III, was for a tract of 980 acres. It extended for fifty years at a rent of three hundred dollars per year. The lease also gave them the right to hire natives to work for them.

A small area was cleared for sugar cane, and a crude dam and sugar mill were started. The obstacles and struggles which the three partners and their families experienced during their first year were almost incredible. Jealous at seeing their lands being used by others, the local chiefs forbade the sale of all provisions to Hooper, the resident agent. There was a terrible lack of proper implements. At one time, for lack of oxen, forty native workers were hitched to a plow. Labor was hard to find and those who accepted work found it difficult to accustom themselves to the routine of steady toil.

Besides building the dam and the mill, the partners erected twenty houses, cleared and planted 25 acres of sugar cane, together with thousands of coffee trees and some taro patches. Coin was scarce, and the laborers were paid in a pasteboard scrip made by the partners. This "Kauai currency" was redeemed each Saturday at the plantation stores. The hired natives were furnished houses and food at a daily cost of one cent.

Transporting the sugar cane from the fields to the mill was one of the most serious problems. Oxen could seldom be spared from all the plowing and clearing there was to do. At one time a temporary railroad was laid down, and sampans on rollers, rigged with sails, flitted through the cane fields before the trade winds, vastly intriguing the natives.

There was no sugar produced in the first year but in the second year the partners were able to ship a quantity of sugar from the Koloa mill to Honolulu, thus marking the beginning of what was to become Hawaii's richest industry.

At the end of three years, the Koloa plantation yielded twelve tons of cane on a test acre, from which was extracted two and a half tons of salable sugar. But the hurdles of running the plantation finally proved to be too much for the Ladd enterprise and after twelve years it passed into other hands. By that time the young partners had decided that the production of sugar required operations on a larger scale than they could afford.

Not long after the Koloa plantation was started an American businessman by the name of William French tried the less ambitious scheme of buying the sugar cane from the natives and processing it through a stone mill. The historian Kuykendall reports that by 1838 there were twenty mills on the Islands that were run by animal power and two that used water power. In that year the total amount of sugar exported was about forty-four tons. In 1840 it had risen to one hundred eighty tons but it dropped back to thirty tons in the following year.

Except for the Koloa plantation, few of the sugar enterprises in those early days represented any large investment. Yet few survived. One important lesson learned from their experience was that sugar farming and sugar milling must be operated jointly. As one writer put it, "fields had no value without a mill; a mill was worthless without adjoining fields." In other words, large-scale operation, such as is possible on plantations, was essential if Hawaiian sugar was to be produced profitably and efficiently. This fact, as will be shown, had a tremendous influence in the development of Hackfeld and Company.

Among the Honolulu businessmen who came to have a high regard for Captain Hackfeld was a prominent physician, Dr. Robert W. Wood, head of the American Hospital for Seamen. Through loaning funds to Ladd and his partners, Dr. Wood became deeply involved in the Koloa. plantation. Shortly after Captain Hackfeld came to Honolulu, Dr. Wood acquired full possession of it.

The development of the sugar industry in Hawaii owed much to his vision and enterprise. About a year after he acquired Koloa, he became associated with A. H. Spencer in a second plantation located on Maui, which they named the "East Maui" plantation. Thoroughly alive to the importance of improving the quality of their product by the use of better equipment and methods, Dr. Wood encouraged an ingenious young mechanic, David M. Weston, to build a small centrifugal machine for separating sugar from molasses. The machine was placed in operation at East Maui and immediately proved its value. It not only shortened the time of separation from weeks to minutes but it also resulted in a vastly superior quality of sugar which could command a much higher price.

In the summer of 1853 Dr. Wood asked the new partnership of H. Hackfeld & Company to act as agents and shippers for the Koloa Plantation, and shortly afterward, for that at East Maui. Thus began the firm's long history as sugar factors -- a new type of business created to fit the special needs of the growers.

In a country like Hawaii the factors proved to be essential to the expansion of the sugar industry. They acted as agents for the plantations, obtained the tools and supplies the plantations needed, floated loans, collected payments, and handled the sales and shipping of sugar. The plantations could not operate efficiently without them. Many of them were scattered in remote sections of the Islands, away from the commercial world. They needed agents who were centrally located and experienced in business matters, to act for them.

At first, the factors were particularly valuable in handling shipping arrangements for the plantations. In those days the crudely-processed sugar had to be shipped in barrels to markets that took weeks and months to reach. It took a sailing ship 20 days to reach California, 146 days to get to New York and 159 days to London. Moreover, sailings were irregular; the arrival and departure of ships depended on wind and tide, and the availability of their cargo space was often uncertain.

The harbor of Honolulu was small and comparatively shallow

The Honolulu that greeted Captain Hackfeld and his wife was not much more than an overgrown village with narrow, unlighted streets and unpaved alleys. Shops were dark and forbidding and the streets were deep with dust. All water was pumped by hand, or by windmills from wells sunk in the coral rock. Here and there among the prevailing grass huts and adobe houses was a wooden house of two stories, which belonged to some prosperous family.

The harbor of Honolulu was small and comparatively shallow. The wharves were crude -- hardly more than landing places. A slaughter house and meat market projected out over the water; opposite them was a long row of shanties that filled the air with strong odors of fish and vegetables.

Despite the unkempt appearance of the town and the harbor, trade was booming. Only a short time before the spectre of depression had hung over the Islands, caused by the decline in the number of whalers that came to Honolulu. The discovery of gold in California had suddenly saved them from that dire prospect. The varied and heavy demands of the California market were stripping every store in town, wholesale and retail, of its merchandise. Conditions were chaotic and prices fluctuated violently. Flour sold for thirty dollars a barrel!

As winter came, a flood of immigrants from the gold fields poured into Honolulu to bask in the Hawaiian sunshine, and the town had its first great housing shortage. The three hotels and all of its boarding houses were crowded to overflowing. Unfortunately, that winter set a new record in cloudy days and rainfall. The natives gleefully insisted that the newcomers had brought their own inclement weather with them!

The business of H. Hackfeld opened its doors on October 1, 1849, offering its wares in a small wooden building on Queen Street, between Bethel and Nuuanu Streets. Its first advertisement appeared a few days later in the Polynesian. Under the general heading of "Dry Goods, Crockery, Hardware and Stationery" were listed such items as parasols, silk waistcoats, bird cages, dinner sets, iron bedsteads and window glass.

Business was brisk. An entry in Daybook No. 1, dated three days after the opening of the establishment, read:

"Give my note favor Everett & Co. for sundry articles bought at auction, at 6 months, endorsed by L. H. Anthon, for $1,943.92. Woolen stockings, finger bowls, shawls, matting, nanking, handkerchiefs, pongee, backgammon boards, china plates, 2 china couches, cigar boxes, tea caddies, 9 writing desks, camphor trunks, axes, black tea, toweling."

Before settling in Hawaii, Captain Hackfeld had been a trader on the China Coast, sailing his own vessel. He was born near Dalmenhorat in Oldenburg, Germany, in 1815. He left Hamburg on November 28, 1848, on board the 156ton Wilhelmine, and began a voyage that took him around the Horn and across the Pacific to Tahiti and finally Hawaii. Accompanying him were his wife Mary, and her young brother, J. Charles Pflueger. One of the crew members was his nephew, B. F. Ehlers. The vessel, carrying cargo valued at $8,394, arrived in Honolulu on September 26, 1849.

A trader of experience, Captain Hackfeld foresaw a growing demand on the Islands for manufactured goods from Europe and America. He had the advantage of knowing where to find them and how to have them brought to Honolulu. His first establishment was shared with one C. S. Bartow. But six weeks after it opened, Bartow had moved to other quarters and Captain Hackfeld's business was occupying the entire store.

Not long afterwards he joined with two other merchants, Swan & Clifford, in a retail store, but the partner. ship did not last long. After it was dissolved, Hackfeld continued the business alone, moving it in 1850 to a new location on Fort Street. The "Upper Store," as it became known, offered new goods from Boston and placed special emphasis on stationery and account books in its first advertisement. The name of Nahum Mitchell appeared as manager, assisted by young Ehlers. Because of the voluminous silk gowns worn by the chieftesses who congregated there, the natives called it "Mauna Kalika" or "Mountain of Silk." In later years it became B. F. Ehlers & Company. Today it is The Liberty House.

From the first, Captain Hackfeld took an active interest in the community. When a small group of businessmen met at the store of Starkey, Janion & Co. to found the Chamber of Commerce of Honolulu, his name was on the list of charter members. The organization served the useful purpose of providing merchants with statistics on imports and exports, arriving and departing vessels and general price information.

Vitally interested in religion, Captain Hackfeld and Mrs. Hackfeld became regular attendants at the Oahu Bethel Church, one of the first churches in Honolulu to be established for foreigners. It must have been gratifying to Captain Hackfeld to note the general progress that Christianity and education were making on the Islands. By the time he came to Honolulu nearly all of the Islanders had accepted the teachings of the Gospel. At that time there were 437 Protestant schools and 103 Roman Catholic schools in Hawaii. Some of the residents claimed that it was difficult to find a ten-year-old Hawaiian child who could not read the Bible.

Although the port was bustling with trade, Honolulu in 1849 provided ample opportunity for community recreation. On Saturday afternoons after the heat of day had passed, the men, women and children met on the plains east of town to race their horses, and display their bright draperies. The best riders were the women and girls. They sped across the plain, forty or fifty in a group, with loose, flowing drapery and their hair streaming in the wind.

Nights were blessed with almost perfect quiet. Loud noise was outlawed. The penal code prescribed that "Whoever after sunset shall by hallooing, singing in the streets, or in any other way, make any disturbance or disorderly noise, in any village, town, or part of the kingdom, without justifiable cause for so doing, shall be liable to summary arrest and imprisonment, and upon conviction, be punished by a fine not exceeding ten dollars."

Captain Hackfeld could not have selected a better time to plant the roots of his business. By 1950 the boom created by the California Gold Rush had reached sizable proportions. The historian, Sylvester K. Stevens, observes that "the demands of the whaling fleets for the products of Hawaii were nothing as compared with those of the rapidly expanding population of California. Mad with lust for gold and confronted by an undeveloped country, the newcomers could not possibly produce sufficient food to supply their needs."

In a letter dated June 18, 1850, the Rev. Richard Armstrong reported that "every bean, onion, potato, or squash we have to spare is at once snatched away to California to feed the hungry multitude there." Another observer of those times informs us that prior to the Gold Rush the Hawaiian market had been glutted with English, American and Chinese merchandise which was waiting for whalers who never came, but that "suddenly all the merchants were deeply engaged in the trans-shipment of goods to San Francisco. Clothing, shovels, pickaxes, flour, bread, boots, shoes and such articles as were suitable for a mining population were in demand." Exports from Honolulu to the Pacific Coast ports of the United States jumped from about $13,000 in 1848 to more than $25,000 in 1851.

One significant result of the boom was to increase the value of property and attract more foreigners, chiefly from California. In 1848 the foreign population numbered 600; in 1849 it had increased to 1,500. In the following year the legislature passed a law which removed the last remnants of feudal land tenure. By this Act, the right to land ownership, which previously had been limited to naturalized citizens, was extended to all foreigners.

In this atmosphere of prosperity, Captain Hackfeld's enterprise blossomed steadily. In 1853 he took into partnership his young helper, J. Charles Pflueger, who was not yet 20 years old.

The change of the business from that of an individual to that of a company was announced in an advertisement which appeared in the Honolulu newspaper of July 5, 1853:

" J. C. Pflueger has this day become a partner in my business, which will henceforth be carried on under the name of H. Hackfeld & Company, General Commission Agents and Ship Chandlers."

Capt. James Cook's discovery of Hawaii was accidental

When Captain Hackfeld opened his first store in Honolulu in 1849, only seventy-one years had passed since Captain James Cook discovered the Hawaiian archipelago. The discovery was accidental. Captain Cook, like Columbus, had been searching for a shorter route to the Orient, when he sighted the islands of Kauai and Oahu. This accident in 1778 marked the end of a thousand years of isolation for the Hawaiian people.

At the time of Captain Cook's arrival the population used stone-age techniques in their building, agriculture and fishing. Except for dogs and hogs, both of which were used for food, there were no domestic animals or beasts of burden in the Islands. The people were not agriculturally minded. Although their crops were planted in well-managed gardens and some of the dry lands were irrigated by an ingenious system of ditches drawing water from higher land, agriculture was not their main concern.

This is hardly surprising when one considers some of the chief geographic features of the Islands. The last livable parts of the globe to be inhabited by man, the Islands are of volcanic origin. The center of each is mountainous and much of the soil is rocky or covered with lava or ash. Of the 6,435 square miles that constitute the total area of Hawaii (almost exactly that of Connecticut plus Rhode Island), only ten per cent is arable.

The miracle is that Hawaii, thus handicapped, should have emerged with an integrated and prosperous agricultural economy in an amazingly short space of time. As one student of Hawaiian history has put it, "no other island area has sprinted from naked-primitive to streamlined-modern in so short a period." The same writer observes that although Hawaii was the last important island area to be discovered in the Pacific, it was the first to achieve modernity.

From the economic point of view, the story of its change is largely one of fur traders, sandalwood, whales, sugar, pineapples, military establishments and tourists. Politically speaking, it is a story of rival native chiefs wielding despotic power over their subjects, of unification into a single monarchy, of gradual introduction of democratic attitudes, and finally, of annexation to the United States in 1898.

At the center of these changes is Hawaii's strategic position in the Pacific. "Crossroads of the Pacific" the Islands are called -- and with reason. In the long voyages between the Orient and the Western World, Hawaii has served as an ideal stopping point. The first to appreciate its conveniences were the fur traders, who plied their ships from the Northwest Coast (what is now British Columbia, Washington and Oregon) across the Pacific to China and other countries of the Orient. In Hawaii they could obtain whatever provisions they needed at extraordinarily low prices; they could also employ any extra help they might need for the Hawaiians were excellent seamen.

Commenting on the convenience of the Islands, one American fur trader wrote:

"What a happy discovery these Islands were! What would the American fur trade be without these to winter at and get every refreshment? A vessel going on that trade will only need sufficient provisions to carry her to these islands, where there is plenty of pork and salt to cure it, and yams as a substitute for bread."

While the fur trade put Hawaii definitely on the commercial map, it was not until the discovery of sandalwood that the Islands began to assume economic importance. There was enormous demand for it in China, where the fragrant wood was used in the manufacture of incense and fine pieces of furniture. The traders received good prices for it chiefly in the form of silks and porcelains which they sold in the United States at much profit.

To encourage the gathering of sandalwood the traders were willing to bring to Hawaii whatever the natives demanded in return. King Kamehameha the Great, who succeeded in placing all of the Islands under his rule by the end of the eighteenth century, exerted a complete monopoly on the product. After his death, his successor, Kamehameha II, shared it with his chiefs, enabling them to accumulate firearms, boats, schooners, large quantities of Chinese goods, and a fortune in foreign currency. Unfortunately, almost no effort was made to preserve the young trees or to replace those which had been cut down.

By 1830 the sandalwood trade had ceased to be profitable.

Once more Hawaii's strategic position in mid-Pacific helped to bolster its economy. A valuable sperm whale fishery was discovered off the coast of Japan. Midway between the southern and arctic whaling grounds, the Islands once more became a convenient place for ships to find rest, water and fresh food. Japan's refusal to admit foreigners made Hawaii almost indispensable to whalers. As early as 1824 there were 104 whalers that visited Hawaii; by 1844 their number had increased to 490.

After the decline of the sandalwood trade, the business of the Islands became mainly concerned with whaleships. A shipyard was established for repairing visiting vessels, and stores were opened to supply whalers with such goods as flour, clothing, hardware and sailcloth. Money began to replace barter in the Islands. Unlike sandalwood, which had been monopolized by the Hawaiian King and his small clique, this trade offered business opportunities to numerous individuals. It also attracted pioneers from other countries who foresaw in Hawaii a bright economic future.

Trade began to develop between Hawaii and the coast of America. Large cargoes of merchandise began to arrive from the mainland as well as Europe and China. Some of these goods were sold to whalers, some to the Island residents, and the rest were re-exported. Three years before the arrival of Captain Hackfeld, Hawaii's imports had totalled more than half a million dollars for that year alone.

The economic changes that preceded Captain Hackfeld's arrival in 1849 were accompanied by social and political changes that influenced the life of the Islands profoundly. First of these was the emergence of Hawaii as a nation with Kamehameha as its monarch. To him goes the credit for having consolidated the island group under a strong government for the first time, and for putting an end to its petty wars. Kamehameha ruled until 18 19, when he died.

Under the terms of his will, his eldest son became King Kamehameha II, while Kaahumanu, his favorite queen, was made premier. Their first important act was to abolish the ancient tabu system. This took place at a great feast held in 1819, at which men and women ate together in public for the first time. The tabu institution was a system of prohibition, violations of which were considered sinful and criminal and were often punishable by death.

Since the tabu system combined political with religious elements it was often abused by the chiefs. It served, in effect, to tyrannize the people and tie them to their past. With the arrival of the foreigners and the spread of liberal ideas, the tabu system became doomed.

Famous in the annals of Hawaiian history is the story of the high chieftainess Kapiolani who, having become converted to Christianity, decided to defy the fire goddess Pele -- an action which is considered one of the most courageous ever recorded in history. Accompanied by some of her followers, she journeyed to the edge of the Kilauea volcano. After eating fruits that were considered sacrificial, she addressed her followers with these words:

"Jehovah is my God. He kindled these fires. I fear not Pele. If I perish in her anger then you may fear Pele; but if I trust in Jehovah, then you must fear and serve him alone." The fact that no harm came to her helped to shatter the power of the Hawaiian priesthood, and advanced the cause of Christianity.

The coming of American missionaries provided one of the major influences in modern Hawaiian history. They brought with them not only Bibles but also "a good supply of the common implements of husbandry -- ploughs, hoes, shovels, etc., also a printing press and a font of type." Their arrival was happily timed. Having renounced their ancient gods, most Hawaiians were literally in a "religious vacuum." But their needs extended beyond religion. Diseases were ravaging entire villages. The population was declining with alarming rapidity. The white traders had brought with them certain diseases, like measles and the common cold, against which the natives had no immunity. They were fatal to thousands of Hawaiians.

From the very beginning, the missionaries taught and exemplified, by their own behavior, the advantages of virtue, industry and thrift. With the help of natives they set about building churches, schools, and more healthful homes. "They ordered villages cleaned up, prescribed remedies for the sick, and labored day and night to bring order into the lives of the Hawaiians." Through their good work they quickly gained the support and confidence of the King and his chiefs.

Seven ministers, teachers and other workers comprised the first group that arrived in 1820. By 1844, their number had grown to seventy-seven. They not only contributed to the welfare of the natives but also gave Hawaii the basis for a democratic way of life based on a system of free enterprise. They encouraged agriculture, and under their auspices attempts were made to cultivate sugar cane and produce sugar. In 1838 one of the missionaries wrote his agent in Honolulu:

"The school I find destitute of books and I must as good as give books to the thousand children of Kohala. If we had a sugar mill I have no doubt we could get good pay for the books in sugar cane, a thing very abundant here. If you can procure a boiler of good size, get one and charge it to me and send it as soon as you can."

By 1823 the missionaries had learned the Hawaiian language sufficiently well to print the first hymn book and pamphlets written in that language. In their early schools, adults were more numerous than children. At first only reading and writing were taught, but gradually the curriculum was expanded to include many more subjects, including manual training and home economics.

The missionaries also played a significant part in the evolution of the Hawaiian government as a democratic force. Acting on their advice, the King of Hawaii requested the American Board of Missionaries to provide him with an adviser on governmental problems. Failing to have this request granted, the King invited the Rev. William Richards to become his government's teacher and interpreter.

Mr. Richards severed his connections with the missionaries and became the first of a series of American missionaries to advise and direct Hawaii's governmental policy. He began his new duties by delivering a series of lectures on "the science of government."

Shortly afterward, Hawaii's first "declaration of rights" was promulgated. It formed the first step toward establishing individual property rights in land. As several historians have demonstrated, the basic ideas in the document were of American origin. The very language was suggestive of the phraseology used in the Declaration of Independence.

The first constitution of Hawaii was proclaimed a year later, in 1840. It provided for a legislative body, consisting of a Council of Chiefs and chosen representatives of the people, who were to meet annually. The constitution also defined the duties of the Governors and provided for a Supreme Court.

The land reforms made effective under King Kamehameha III were among the great social changes that took place during his reign. UP until 1840 all the land of Hawaii theoretically belonged to the King. Part of it he kept for his own use; the rest he divided among his various chiefs. They, in turn, allotted their lands to others who served under them. The commoner received a small piece of land, usually as much as he could cultivate, in return for which he paid tribute (either in labor or produce) to his chief and his King.

Since the ordinary tenants did not own their properties outright, they were more or less at the mercy of their chiefs. The system also worked a hardship on foreigners who, after being given grants of land, found that they had no secure title. The agitation against this method of land distribution finally culminated in what is known as the Great Mahele (Division). It enabled the common people to own land they occupied and cultivated, and gave foreigners clear title to the lands which had been previously granted to them. In addition, a law was passed under which government lands could be sold in small lots at a low price, thus permitting the common people to purchase additional property.

These sweeping reforms, which went into effect the year before Captain Hackfeld came to Honolulu, helped drive the final nails into the coffin of Hawaiian feudalism.

Maunaloa, Hawaii

More important than the wind in discouraging beauty are the everpresent red dust and the lack of adequate water to encourage the growth of ornamental vegetation. Annual rainfall at Maunaloa has averaged twenty-eight inches during the past thirty years, but there is considerable variation from year to year. These statistics suggest moisture adequate to allow the growth of fairly abundant vegetation, but they are deceptive. Most of the rain falls during a short period of the winter months. In certain years a few days of torrential rains have produced a statistically normal year of precipitation but an actual year of drought. Much of the rainfall, coming as it does in heavy downpours, runs off rapidly to the sea. These heavy and rapid runoffs carry with them large quantities of soil from the pineapple fields, and have greatly eroded the slopes of western Molokai. Several cuts in the fields, up to fifty feet in depth, mark the principal channels of drainage. As a result of this rapid erosion, the ocean, for distances of a mile or more from the shore of western Molokai, has an opaque red-brown color from the fine soil which goes into suspension easily and never completely settles because of the action of the tides and waves.

The Mauna Loa tableland has no permanent streams, and no water is captured there. Water for domestic consumption and for use in insecticide and fertilizer emulsions for the pineapple fields is transported by pipeline from the rainy slopes of eastern Molokai. Irrigation of pineapple plants, a practice recently adopted on a limited scale by other Hawaiian plantations cultivating fields with inadequate rainfall, has never been introduced for lack of water. Although the water resources of eastern Molokai are fairly abundant, little has yet been captured because of the great expense involved. The amount which reaches Maunaloa is small. It is frequently necessary to ration water during the summer by sharply curtailing or prohibiting the watering of lawns and other vegetation and repeatedly cautioning the residents of the community to conserve water.

Water is an extremely important matter at Maunaloa and a subject of concern both in domestic life and in plantation operations, where it is vital for insecticide and fertilizer sprays. The water which reaches Maunaloa is the subject of many scatological jokes because of its amber color, caused by the presence of fine soil in suspension, and, so it is said, by pigments from organic matter through which the water runs before it is captured. Maunaloa water is the horror of the new housewife until she learns that it is perfectly potable and, with the aid of bluing and laundry bleaches, serves quite well to launder clothing.

The lack of water, the dust, the wind, and their isolation from other communities annoy many residents of Maunaloa, but no one complains about the temperature, which most persons find exactly to their liking, and preferable to that of most other Hawaiian communities. Lying at an attitude exceeding 1,000 feet, the village of Maunaloa is usually a few degrees cooler than Honolulu or coastal towns. The mean temperature is approximately 72°. Extreme temperatures reaching or exceeding 90° are uncommon and of brief duration. The months of January through March, when temperatures may drop below 60° at night, are sometimes chilly and a few people then use portable heaters. The wind which carries dust and inhibits the growth of garden plants serves in more acceptable fashion to make even the hottest days of August and September, which ordinarily have the highest temperatures, seem pleasant.

Hawaii: Island of Molokai, Kaunakakai

The community of Maunaloa lies isolated on the western end of the Island of Molokai near the top of a rounded volcanic dome which rises sharply on its eastern face and slopes gradually to the sea on the west over a distance of several miles. On days when clouds do not obscure the view, the Island of Oahu, about thirty miles to the northwest, is clearly visible, and the lights of Honolulu may be seen at night.

The Island of Molokai, 260 square miles in area, is approximately thirty-eight miles long and varies from six to ten miles in width. A volcanic mountain reaching an altitude of 4,970 feet lies at its eastern extremity and forms the largest part of the island. At the western end of the island the volcanic dome of Mauna Loa (not to be confused with the well-known Mauna Loa of the Island of Hawai), from which the community of Maunaloa takes its name, rises at a sharp incline to a maximum eminence of 1,381 feet. Between the eastern mountain and the Mauna Loa dome is a saddle called the Hoolehua plain. The pineapple fields of Molokai are in the red lateritic soils of the lower and westerly slopes of the mountain, on the adjoining Hoolehua plain, and, continuing westward, on the slopes of Mauna Loa.

The population of Molokai totals approximately 7,500 persons, most of whom depend for livelihood directly or indirectly upon the three pineapple plantations on the island. Other industry is limited to the raising of a few thousand head of cattle and small-scale farming. Communities are few and small. Kaunakakai, with a population of approximately 2,700, is the largest town, the economic center, and the only port of the island. Maunaloa, second in size to Kaunakakai, is the only community in western Molokai. Approximately twelve miles from its nearest neighboring settlement, it lies seventeen miles from Kaunakakai.

Undeveloped for lack of water for irrigation, Molokai is known to the outside world chiefly because of its leper colony. On a small peninsula physically isolated from the main body of the island by a 2,000foot cliff, the leper colony of Kalaupapa is also socially isolated. Off the beaten track for tourists, Molokai maintains the flavor of the Hawaii in greater degree than the more populous islands. The pineapple plantations of Molokai, however, are thoroughly modern.

Behind the traveler lie the pineapple fields of two rival plantations and, towering above them, the eastern mountain. Arid on its lower slopes, the mountain presents a scene of increasingly lush, wild vegetation as the eye travels upward to the crown of clouds at its peak. By contrast, the vista which lies ahead on the road to Maunaloa is one of stark, uninviting aridity. On the clifflike eastern boundary of Mauna Loa, the red-brown and yellow of exposed soil, volcanic cinders, and grass apparently lifeless most of the year predominate in the landscape. Here and there at lower altitudes are clumps of dusty kiawe trees. Skirting the edge of the sharp rise, the road takes an easy incline in rocky land containing many shallow rifts and gullies which nurture only wild grasses, kiawe, and a few cattle.

The excellent road quickly brings the traveler into the pineapple fields on the gentle and rolling northwest slopes of Mauna Loa, from which a great expanse of vividly blue ocean and the Island of Oahu or the mass of clouds which mask it are visible to the west. Pineapple fields stretch for miles in every direction, rectangle after rectangle of growing plants bordered by the narrow red bands of field roads, in neat but monotonous geometric regularity. The eye welcomes the relief provided by changes in elevation and the occasional shallow gullies and eroded cuts of an angry red color. At the lower margins of the fields, dry grasses, rocky outcrops, kiawe trees, sand dunes, and occasional volcanic cinder cones create a desolate expanse of several miles until they terminate at the edge of the sea.

Nearing his destination, the traveler catches sight of two sizable white houses on the slope above him. Surrounded by vagrantly green lawns and wind-bowed vegetation, they look neat and substantial. At a lower elevation are many smaller dwellings, visible at first only as a cluster of green-painted galvanized iron roofs amid eucalyptus trees and Norfolk Island pines. The traveler passes the station where pineapples are loaded onto trucks for hauling to the port of Kaunakakai for shipment to the cannery in Honolulu, the mixing plant for insecticides and fertilizers, the service stations, and the shops for repair and maintenance of mechanical equipment. The journey terminates in the unnamed main street of Maunaloa. About one city block in length, it presents an uninspiring view of a few frame buildings, wind-battered trees, and a long expanse of closely trimmed and almost blossomless hibiscus hedges. The paved road comes to an end in the natural red soil of a field road leading into the pineapple fields.

Production of Pineapple in Hawaii

The pineapple industry of Hawaii has had only a brief history, but today it represents a level of scientific and commercial development of horticulture seldom reached elsewhere. Pineapples were introduced to Hawaii early in the nineteenth century, but commercial cultivation and canning did not begin until much later, just after the turn of the twentieth century. Growth of the industry under the impetus of an expanding world market was rapid, and pineapple production had become large-scale by the third decade of the century. The success of pineapple as an industrial crop had attracted the attention of mainland fruit-packing corporations, which established plantations in Hawaii.

Pineapples are raised on fourteen plantations on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Molokai, and Lanai, and canned on the islands of Oahu, Maui, and Kauai, each of which has three canneries. Fruit raised on Molokai and Lanai is shipped by barges to Honolulu for canning. Plantations are owned and operated by nine corporations, two of which are mainland concerns and account for over 40 per cent of the total annual production.

At the beginning of the twentieth century the incipient industry was faced with the problem of developing techniques of husbandry to allow extensive and profitable cultivation. This problem was quickly met under the economic conditions of the time. Profitable techniques of pineapple culture were developed early, and the market continued to expand. The subsequent history of plantation husbandry has seen much change and development, with both the Pineapple Research Institute and the independent research of plantation companies contributing to the solution of problems as they arose. Improved technology has averted at least two imminent crises, the second of which led eventually to profound social changes in the plantation communities.

In the late 1920's the industry was threatened by a serious disease of pineapple plants called mealy bug wilt. The Pineapple Research Institute developed measures of control in time to avert catastrophe, and mealy bug wilt is no longer considered a serious problem.

A second threat emerged at the end of World War II. Faced with swollen production costs and heavily increased competition from foreign pineapple and mainland fruits, the industry found itself in a critical position. Plantation labor in Hawaii has an interesting history of its own, but much of it does not concern the pineapple industry, which entered importantly into that history only in its later phases. The roster of nations and peoples from which Hawaiian sugar and pineapple plantation labor was drawn is large and impressive.

Drawn from the economically pressed classes of their nations, the contract laborers were impoverished people who had little or no formal education. As foreign plantation laborers, their social status was low, a circumstance which was by no means new to them. Rather than return to an uncertain future in their native lands, many chose to remain in Hawaii when their contracts were fulfilled. They and their descendants form the bulk of the modern Hawaiian population.