Lot 57 of 221:
1840 Hawaii letter by American woman missionary - anti-slavery and French Catholic threat  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$720
$1,200 - $1,800

Letter by American woman missionary, Maui, on anti-slavery, "adulterous" natives, and naval threat of French Catholicism

Mary Kittredge Clark [Mrs. Ephraim Clark]

Lahainaluna, [Maui], Hawaiian islands


July 12, 1840


Autograph Letter Signed (“Mary K.C.”) Lahainaluna, [Maui], Hawaii. July 12, 1840. 3pp.+ stampless address leaf, with New York Ship postmark. To Mrs. Rev. Jonathan Curtis, Pittsfield, New Hampshire.

The wife of missionary Ephraim Clark writes about news from America of “glorious” religious revivals, anti-Slavery “excitement” (with its “ardent and zealous” advocates in Hawaii), the threat of French warships bringing “the religion of the Pope here”, the “adulterous” natives who “love in better than holiness”, her burden as “physician and nurse” to native children brought to the mission, “sick, and feeble and sore, and sometimes dying”, illness among the missionaries themselves, including her husband, and the imminent death of Mrs. Samuel Castle, whose missionary husband would later become one of the sugar magnates of the island.

Ephraim and Mary Clark had already been in Hawaii for twelve years when she wrote this letter to the wife of a clergyman in their home state of New Hampshire.  Her husband, an ordained Minister, had co-translated the first Missionary Hawaiian Almanac – a copy of which sold in these Galleries 8 years ago for more than $16,000 – taught at the Lahainaluna high school on Maui, and, after regaining his health, was Pastor of a large Honolulu church. In 1856, he traveled to New York to supervise printing of the Hawaiian New Testament , and, after Mary's death in 1857, came again to the US to marry his second wife, a Scottish woman. During the Civil War, Clark moved back to the US to superintend publication of the Hawaiian Bible.  Later in life, he became a Doctor, started a Medical Mission in British India, and was a prolific writer on Hinduism and Islam.

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