Hilo, Hawaii, July 6, 1861.Mr. Editor :--“The Union, it must and shall be preserved!” Well, that's just the way we feel up here in Hilo. So “keep it before the people.” I cannot keep silent, therefore, and must “blow” a little about our own patriotism in this part of the King's domains, for we are not content that the world should give credit to the Honoluluans alone for loyalty to the United States Government, as expressed by their American residents. There are not many of us up here, it is true, but what few there are, felt their souls glow with a new animation as the day approached which gave birth to American liberty, and each one felt that he owed, at this particular time, a duty to his country, by allowing others to read in his acts his devotion to her glorious Constitution, and his readiness to assist, should occasion require, in carrying out the ends of that motto which I have above quoted. The last tick of the midnight clock had hardly given place to the fourth day of July, 1861, when the broad arch of the Hilo heavens was overspread with a lurid glare, which was soon accounted for by an unusual burning of gunpowder. From that time until sunrise, it was one continual snap, crack, fizz, bang. At sunrise, the performances were varied by a salute of thirteen guns from a heavier piece of music, viz., one of the brass barking dogs of the bark Yankee, which had been kindly loaned for the occasion by Commodore Paty. In the earlier part of the day, a very handsome collation was served up by our esteemed townsman, Thos. Spencer, Esq., at which were present a large number of invited guests. The captain's soul was fairly overflowing with patriotism, and indeed all present were imbued with the highest feelings of respect and enthusiasm for that flag which for so many years has been the symbol of might, freedom, and charity. The following toasts were drank upon the occasion:--1.--“Abe Lincoln,” the honest old miller; while he separates the chaff from the wheat, his grinding shall be done Scott free. 2.--old “Abe” shall be another link on (Lincoln) to our chain of Government supporters. 3.--Liholiho and Emma — the King and Queen of these islands. Heaven bless them. 4.--Let the gallant defender of Sumter have prefixed to his name Columbia; and future generations shall often look back with pride upon Columbia Anderson, (and her son.) 5.--the secession States--the corrode of a Republic. Shake off the rust, and the steel will pierce the keener. 6.--(Drank standing, and in silence.) Col. Ellsworth. A bright light quenched in the hour of deepest darkness.After the toasts had been disposed of, the company listened to some pertinent and patriotic remarks from the orator of the day, Capt. Thos. Spencer, a brief synopsis of which I will give. It was to him, he said, the proudest and most eventful day of his life. He felt that, though isolated as we were upon this watch-tower of the Pacific, though so many thousands of miles away from that dear land of his nativity, yet he felt thereby a more than common interest in the affairs of that nation, in which, perhaps, at this very hour, the most deadly and bitter scenes of strife were taking place. That though he could not give his good right arm to bear a weapon in maintaining her rights, yet she should have his sympathies, and, if need be, his purse; and should the time come when she should want for men to do her battles, then would he cross the ocean, and gladly lay down his life, if necessary, in her defence. Is it to be supposed, said the speaker, that any American, though he be at the North or South pole, the torrid or the frigid zone, can forget his country in this her hour of danger? Never! The contest has begun, and it must be ended; but never, unless with honor to our flag,--with credit to ourselves. Gentlemen, I ask you what is the cause of this gathering? Why is this day so very dear to every American citizen? And yet I need not tell you; for I behold in your eyes the light of patriotic worship, akin to that which would illumine the countenance of the most devout pilgrim while before the holy shrine at Mecca. I not only read in your faces, gentlemen, the devotion which you bear to that dear country of ours, but I feel in my own heart a new fire enkindled, at the thoughts of those unholy men, who would seek to annul that time-honored and world-renowned Constitution! our country! Look at her as she was, and look at her as she must be in the future, and I feel like  calling to my aid some greater power than man to pronounce her greatness. Our Country! There she stands, and there she must stand, the idol of every American citizen,--the blazing beacon whose radiant light shall shine to illuminate the world, giving in its brightness a lasting tribute to the worth of the Washingtons and the Jeffersons, whose hands, guided by unerring judgment and wisdom, first placed it where it now stands, as a bright planet amid the nations of the world. Let us be true to it, and to ourselves. He was proud to be called a son of little Rhode Island. How shines she now, as one of the brightest stars in that galaxy; and a star, too, that shall never wane, while it can borrow light from the patriotism of her sons. It fills my heart with joy, this morning, as I listen to the kind expressions of sympathy from these noble sons of Hawaii nei, gathered around my board. Gentlemen, they feel the sacred nature of this day; and I assure you, that the President of the United States, could he look in upon us, and hear from their lips those kindly sentiments, would take fresh ardor for the duties before him, and feel himself indeed the cynosure of the remote nations of the earth. Gentlemen, I cannot better close, than by quoting the words of that gifted statesman, who now sleeps in his grave--“Liberty and Union, one and inseparable, now and forever.” Here followed numerous other addresses by gentlemen present, one of which, by an Hawaiian youth, a translation of which I will give you :--“My love to you all. I am but an humble native of the soil upon which we stand, and do not feel that I can do this occasion the justice which my foreign friends are more competent to do. Here is my thought. I have, in the course of my life, witnessed many feasts given in honor of that thing, and this thing, but it has never before been my lot to feel as I now feel. I feel as if I were an American. I sympathize with the Northern States of America; and although my heart is heavy at the sight of brothers warring with each other, yet I am anxious that right should prevail; and what harm is it if a few thousand fall in establishing the rights of so great and good a Government as that of the United States of America? The United States have ever protected this little land of my birth. I will close by giving you a sentiment in answer to that given in honor of my own King and Queen--‘E man ka weloana a ka hac Amerika’ --‘Long wave the American flag.’ ” The remarks of the speaker were received with deafening cheers, and after “three times three” for “Old Abe,” and the same number for the King and Queen of these islands, the company separated, bound together by a new tie. At 12 M., the brass piece was made to speak out 34 more echoes of loyalty, and I will say that Hilo beach never before witnessed so enthusiastic a scene. What, with the flags of all nations hanging from the cocoanut trees and flag-staffs, the wreathing smoke of the cannon, the jubilant shouts of the multitudes — all served to form a very pleasing assurance that Hilo, the paradise of Hawaii, was not without its “smart sprinkling” of that genus homo, the “live Yankee.” The salutes being over, a meeting was held at the store of Capt. Thos. Spencer, to take into consideration the propriety of organizing an auxiliary corps of Hawaiians, who should hold themselves in readiness to proceed to the seat of war immediately upon the first call of their services from the President of the United States. The object of the meeting had hardly been stated, before some forty Hawaiians signified their willingness to engage in the service of the United States; and Capt. Spencer being called to the chair, the following preamble and resolutions were adopted:--preamble.--We, the undersigned, do hereby form ourselves into an association under the name and style of the “ Spencer Invincibles,” and, for the good government thereof, have adopted a Constitution and By-Laws, for the support of which we mutually pledge ourselves.Resolved, That we, having heard of the rebellion in the United States of America, and being desirous to assist the President in quelling it, do hereby tender our services to him, and will hold ourselves in readiness to depart for the United States immediately upon the first requisition. Resolved, That the motto of this company shall be that of Andrew Jackson--“ The Union, it must and shall be preserved.” Resolved, That we do not feel, that by this act we shall lessen or abate the allegiance which we hold to our king, or in any other way prove recreant to our country. [Signed by forty names.]The balloting for officers was most spirited, and I am happy to say that Capt. Thomas Spencer was selected to fill the arduous duties of Captain, whilst the office of 1st Lieutenant fell upon the former very devoted Orderly-Sergeant of the Honolulu Rifles. At sunset, the gun was again trundled to the beach bank, and thirty-four more loud salvos disturbed the water-fowl of the beautiful Byron's Bay, during which the bunting was gathered, while the many loud hurrahs of the departing “lookers — on in Venice” evinced the satisfaction with which they had spent the fourth day of July, 1861, in Hilo. Yours truly,Kalaniopuu.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
48 . impromptu reply to a lady who proposed to wear the patriotic Rosette of White , red , and Blue .
The Fourth of July in Hilo.--A. correspondent of the Honolulu Advertiser gives the following account of the celebration of Independence Day at the Sandwich Islands:--
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.