University of Hawaii at Manoa Library

Home: The Annexation Of Hawaii: A Collection Of Document



hawnpac@hawaii.edu
(808) 956-8264

Blount Report: Affairs in Hawaii

[ Previous Page ] -- [ View PDF ] -- [ View in MS Word ] -- [ Next Page ]

             772	HAWAIIAN   ISLANDS.

Another destructive effect of the syphilitic taint is believed to have been an inflaming of sexual passion. It may have 
acted us a ferment thrown into the former more quiet pool of promiscuous social living. There can be no doubt that 
the advent of foreigners in large numbers was attended by an immense increase of debased and bestial living. Ten 
thousand reckless seamen of the whaling fleet annually frequented these islands and used it as their great brothel. 
This enormously aggravated and inflamed the normal unchastity of the people. In the presence of the white hordes 
life became hideously brutalized. To multitudes of young women, gathered into the seaports for profit, from half the 
households in the country, life became a continuous orgie of beastly excess. All the former slender limitations and 
rest fiction a upon an indiscriminate commerce fell to pieces. The stormy and reckless passion of the white man, 
exulting in his unwonted license, imparted itself to the warm but sluggish Hawaiian nature. Life became a wasteful 
riot of impurity, propagated from the seaports to the end of the laud. There was thus no defense against the new and 
trying conditions of life through any existing sentiment of the sacredness of chastity. The inevitable consequence 
was depopulation. The population of brothels and slums has no internal power of multiplying.
In the report on the subject of purity, adopted by the 144 bishops convener! in the late Pan-Anglican Conference at 
Lambeth Palace, are the following words: "We solemnly record our conviction that wherever marriage is 
dishonored, and sins of the flesh are lightly regarded, the home life will be destroyed, and the nation itself will 
sooner or later decay and perish." The source of this language will lend it great weight. The Hawaiian nation is a sad 
witness to their truth.
One of the most destructive consequences of the new physical taint was the enfeeblement of infancy, rendering it 
difficult for the diseased babes to survive the ignorant and careless dealing of their nurses. The largest increase in 
the mortality of the Hawaiians was undoubtedly among their infants. The external influences adverse to infant 
survival among Hawaiians are very great. Chief among these are the practice of feeding with unsuitable nutriment in 
early infancy, the prevalence of unchecked cutaneous maladies, general lack of watchful care, and evil doses 
administered by ignorant or superstitious friends. Healthy and vigorous infants, as of the old times, would in good 
numbers survive all these hostile conditions. Those born into the taint of syphilis, with its in ward and outward 
corrosions, had little prospect of surviving other maltreatments, unless some missionary or other beneficent 
foreigner came to their aid with his simple regimen and alleviations.
Under this general head of unchastity, as the chief cause of the depletion of the race, a considerable share must be 
attributed to the extensive loss of procreative power in the males. This loss was probably due in part to syphilitic 
taint, but is mainly owing to early sexual excess during puberty. In the aboriginal condition there would seem to 
have been less tendency to very early indulgence among the males. The nervous irritations of the syphilitic taint and 
the exciting excesses pervading native society may have been causes extending debauching influences even to the 
children. It is certain that in many districts deplorable excesses have been found to exist among the school children. 
It seems to he true that a majority of young Hawaiian men never have children. Those placed early under the disci-
pline of foreigners, in hoarding schools or otherwise, show exceptions to the common rule. The incapacity seems to 
be mainly on the part of the males. Young women united to Chinamen or white men are usually quite as fruitful as 
women of other races. Per contra, it is to be noted that such men are apt to select the best-conditioned females, also 
that they are accustomed to restrain and to protect their wives, -as Hawaiians do not, and so keep them in healthier 
condition.
The common record of Hawaiian families is few or no children born, or perhaps several born, most or all of whom 
die in infancy. It is exceedingly rare to find a large family surviving to adult age. Nearly all such that I have known 
were families under the immediate and very parental control of some missionary, with whom the parents had lived 
from early youth, learning habits of industry, self-control, and civilized domestic living. They were themselves kept 
in vigor and health, their children were well cared for, and well doctored in sickness. Natives so situated very 
frequently not only raised large families, but by means of their superior industry, skill, and thrift acquired 
considerable substance. Being thereby placed in a high social rank among their countrymen, it has too commonly 
resulted that most of their children became dissolute, like the children of the wealthy elsewhere, and the family 
failed to be continued.
Among other disastrous effects of the universal syphilitic taint was the frequency of miscarriages. It has been the 
testimony of missionaries and physicians that a very considerable proportion of native births have been prevented by 
that cause. In my inquiries in native households this has been assigned as frequently as any other as the cause of the 
absence of children. To make such inquires is indeed melancholy. One becomes glad to hear that even one or two 
children are surviving in a household.

Return to Top

Terms of Use  |  UH Mānoa  |  UH System  |  Ask Us
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Library  |  2550 McCarthy Mall  |  Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 USA
808-956-7214 (Reference)  |  808-956-7203 (Circulation)  |  808-956-7205 (Administration)
808-956-5968 (fax)  |  library@hawaii.edu