• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Dedication
 Table of Contents
 Prologue
 Hawaii
 Alaska
 The Panama Canal Zone
 The Virgin Islands
 Puerto Rico
 Tomorrow
 For further study and action
 A selected reading list






Title: On our own doorstep.
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Title: On our own doorstep.
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Mead, Frank S.
Publisher: Friendship Press
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: 1948
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
        Page ii
    Dedication
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Prologue
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Hawaii
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
    Alaska
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
    The Panama Canal Zone
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
    The Virgin Islands
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
    Puerto Rico
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
    Tomorrow
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
    For further study and action
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
    A selected reading list
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
Full Text
ALASKA PUERTO RICO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS


On Our
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By
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F FRIENDSHIP c
PRESS NEW YORK


ALASKA PUERTO RICO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS





FRANK S. MEAD is a native of New Jersey, where
he received his elementary and high school training.
He obtained his A.B. degree from the University of
Denver in 1922 and studied the following year at the
Episcopal Theological Seminary of Virginia.
In 1923 he became assistant secretary in charge of
work for foreign-born men at the Twenty-third Street
Branch of the Y.M.C.A. in New York City.
After graduation from Union Theological Semi-
nary in New York in 1927, he served Methodist
pastorates in Newark and Kearney, New Jersey.
Mr. Mead has been editor of the Homiletic Review,
and later joined the staff of the Christian Herald, serving
as editor of that periodical from 1942 to 1947. He is
now an editorial associate of the Fleming H. Revell
Company. He is the author of The March of Eleven Men,
250 Bible Biographies, See These Banners Go, The Ten
Decisive Battles of Christianity, Right Here at Home, and
Tales from Latin America.


COPYRIGHT, 1948, BY FRIENDSHIP PRESS, INC.
Printed in the United States of America





To

EDWARD A. ODELL

THE AUTHOR'S IDEA
OF A MAN
AND A MISSIONARY




uo

PR





Contents


PROLOGUE

HAWAII
The land 4
The people 6
The traders 8
First missionaries I
early printing 13
women converts 15
criticism 18
Set-backs and new developments 20
sugar economy 24
the Big Five 26
After Pearl Harbor 28
military government 29
Japanese loyalty 30
peaceful revolution 32
Statehood and race 34
A new order 37
Education 38
The churches of Hawaii 41
Buddhism and Shinto 41
the Christian population 42
the Protestant program 44




CONTENTS


ALASKA
The land 50
The Eskimos 51
The Russian adventure 53
Purchase by the United States 55
Disgraceful interim 56
Sheldon Jackson 57
Missionary reinforcements 62
The gold rush 64
War and its effects 67
Present problems 70
economic 70
political 71
health 72
Missionary activities 73
pioneer labor 73
schools and homes 76
hospitals 78
united approach 80


PANAMA CANAL ZONE
Explorers and gold 87
The Panama Canal 90
problems of construction 92
Peoples of the zone 94
Churches at work 95
Unfinished business 00oo




CONTENTS


THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
Discovery 102
The Caribs 104
Invaders 104
The United States takes charge io6
The islanders today 0o8
reasons for discontent 109
superstition 1 o
education and health Ix
government 112
churches at work 113

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico under Spain 118
Ponce de Ledn 118
search for gold 119
island as a fortress 120
rebellion 122
The U. S. record 123
Puerto Rican problems 126
poverty 126
overpopulation 127
political confusion 128
land reform 30
Missionary activities 132
cooperation 137
health 139
emphasis on community 140




vii CONTENTS

TOMORROW
Yesterday's record 146
The record of home missions 149
Five challenges concerning:
imperialism 151
comprehensive faith 153
new unity 154
an indigenous church 156
our responsibility 157

FOR FURTHER STUDY AND ACTION 160

A SELECTED READING LIST 163







Prologue

DR. RUSSELL CONWELL had a great lecture and book in
Acres of Diamonds; it was a plea to every good American
to use the powers that lay latent within him, and an
ardent defense of the American way of life. It was all
based on the simple little Arabian story of a man who
hunted all over the world for diamonds and then found
them in his own back yard. What Dr. Conwell said of
Al Hafed might well be said today of 130,000,000 main-
land Americans who should take stock of the territorial
"diamonds" in their own back yard, begin to use the
latent powers lying there, and extend there an honest
application of the American way of life.
There is Hawaii, for instance or, more correctly, the
Hawaiian Islands. How much did you know of these
islands before the attack on Pearl Harbor? To most of us,
they were just a spot on the map; it took a fleet of Japa-
nese bombers to show us that our whole American future
might depend upon these tiny islands in the Pacific. And
Alaska? Alaska stood for icebergs and polar bears until
those Russian fliers flew over the pole and came down in
California and engineers went to work frantically building
the Alcan Highway. Panama means only a canal to nine
out of ten of us; it is vastly more! Puerto Rico means rum
and sugar cane (which, in combination, have all but
ruined this land); not many of us are aware of the fact
that Puerto Rico is the scene of some of the most startling




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


triumphs in the history of our faith. The Virgin Islands -
who among us can speak intelligently for fifteen minutes
on the Virgin Islands, or write five thousand words?
Even when we have gained an appreciation of the im-
portance of Pearl Harbor, sugar cane, and the canal and
the Alcan Highway, we have only half the story. There
are people here people who are quite the same kind of
people as you and I. People with problems and a future.
People who up to now are probably the most shamefully
neglected people in our part of the world. Living under
the Stars and Stripes, they enjoy too few of the boons and
privileges and benefits of democracy for the simple reason
that they have been too much ignored. Champions of
man's inborn right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of
happiness, we Americans are quick to criticize other
"more imperialistic" governments for their treatment of
dependent peoples. There is a fine old lady in Chicago
who recently left one church for another because she
was "sick and tired of hearing the preacher blame me for
what the British are doing in India!" Actually, we have a
poor case against the British when we look at Puerto Rico
and the Virgin Islands.
What we need to understand is that those who live in
our American outposts are no poor country cousins, but
people who are a tremendous part of us, people served by
our own governmental agencies, ministered unto by our
own church missionaries, entitled to the same life, lib-
erty, and happiness that we enjoy. This little book is
written to plead their case, to tell briefly of their history
and their hopes, to outline the problems political, so-
cial, economic, educational, religious that are as much




PROLOGUE 3

ours as theirs, to tell what Christian missions has done
and yet must do if their future, so inexorably bound up
with ours, is to be bright.
Missions is folks. It is the human hand of God, reaching.
Here we see it reaching from pole to palm trees, serving
like a golden cord to bind them all, however widely scat-
tered, into one. For this is one world with one increasing
purpose, one common destiny, for all.
Suppose we start with Hawaii, a land altogether
lovely. .
























WHEN God made Hawaii,
he used the best he had; he left it an earthly paradise.
Spend a day there and you weep when you leave it -
and there is something deeper than the strains of Aloha
Oe, sung by the Hawaiians on the dock as your ship puts
out to sea, that makes you weep.
This is a land spendthrift with color and romance. The
bluest of all blue skies is over Hawaii, with great white
clouds hovering like battlements over the green hills.
There are sunshine and moonlight and rainbows without
end and on a thousand beaches besides Waikiki the
waves splash and spill their billions of briny diamonds
and come back to crash again. He who sets foot in Hawaii
puts his foot deep inside heaven.




HAWAII


But all this, exotic as it is, is only nature's curtain hid-
ing the most dramatic social and economic and religious
experiments in the civilized world. Most of the things the
tourist sees are either artificial or borrowed. The lei -
that necklace of flowers hung about the neck of the visitor
- is about 99 per nt commercial. The grass skirt and
the hula were borrowed from the South Seas. The ukelele
came from Portugal: in high derision the native calls it
"the jumping flea." Hawaii's governmental philosophy
and structure stem back to New England; her two strongest
religious faiths. Bddhism and Christianity, came from
Japan and America. Even her population came in from
the sea in ships; itis n native. Out of an estimated
502,I22 people there are but 14,246 pure Hawaians.
The rest are Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese,
Puerto Rican, Spanish, American, Korean, and "other
Caucasian."
Hawaii is no mere map-spot; it is Uncle Sam's socio-
logical laboratory, with many a lesson in getting along
to teach the world. Here is a chain of islands 2,000 miles
long-- nt island ut ei Hawaii, Maul, Kahoo-
lawe, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai, Niihau, and a num-
ber of smaller, less important, uninhabited islands ad-
jacent to them. They lie, strategically all-important in
war and peace, 2, 1oo miles from San Francisco and 3,400
miles from Yokohama the crossroads of the Pacific!
How the first inhabitants ever got there is one of his-
tory's exasperating riddles. The native Hawaiians are
definitely Polynesian, with blood relatives in New Zea-
land, Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti, the Cook Islands, and the
Marquesas. Some say they came from Tahiti, or from




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


somewhere in Southeast Asia, and that may be so, for
while there is not a single island between Honolulu in
Oahu and San Francisco, there are thousands of island
steppingstones south and west of the islands. The first
settlers may have covered those watery miles in outrigger
canoes; if they did, they performed a miracle in deep-sea
navigation unequaled even by the doughty Captain Bligh
of the Bounty.
But they got there, and that's all that is important.
They reached these enchanted isles and they built there
a civilization with an all-powerful ruling class and a huge,
underprivileged, subservient lower class. There was no
one king over all the islands until the coming of King
Kamehameha the Great (18o1); there were petty chiefs
ruling each island, and they ruled with an iron hand.
They were tyrants bearing life and death in their primi-
tive brown hands.
Co-tyrants with the chiefs were the priests, overlords of
a paganism replete with four thousand gods. Whatever
terror the chiefs neglected to instill was provided by the
priests and their gods fierce gods who at times could
be appeased only with human sacrifice. Kane, Ku, Lono,
and Kanaloa were the greatest of the gods; under them
was a lesser group of deities who did their bidding and
their chores. There was Ku-Kailimoku, god of war, and
there was Pele, the goddess of the volcano, who terrified
generations of southern Hawaiians until brave Kapiolani,
a woman of a leading family, said a Christian prayer at
her volcano's edge, and threw a handful of pebbles into
her face.
Part and parcel of this paganiswas




HAWAII


kapu; call it tabu to understand it better. Kapu was an elab-
orate code of prohibitions and restrictions that covered
just about everything; it reached into farming, fishing,
war, the building of a house or a canoe, into where a
man could travel, and into what he could and could not
eat. The chiefs and the priests made the most of kapu;
their authority depended upon it. With its help they main-
tained their feudalistic system and their caste. They in-
sisted that the chiefs were descended from the gods, and
that the rest of that Hawaiian society was born to serve
them. A commoner could not even cross the shadow of a
chief; a woman could not eat bananas, coconuts, pork, or
turtles. There were times when a man could break kapu
by building a fire or even daring to talk out loud. Penal-
ties were severe; a man could be killed for violating kapu,
even though he was ignorant of its existence.
There are still those hasty critics who talk of "the noble
savage," and who condemn the "intrusion" of the Chris-
tian missionary into his noble, exotic existence. The truth
is, however, at least insofar as Hawaii is concerned, that
this "idyllic" existence fell to such depths of moral and
spiritual degradation that the natives themselves were
forced to outlaw it before the first missionary got there.
-There was nothing even mildly attractive in Pele, and
the indecent rites accorded the obscene goddess Laka
produced a sexual laxity that the natives knew was all but
destroying them. They were a poverty-stricken, terror-
ridden humanity before they saw their first Christian /
missionary.
The missionary was not the first to reach them; first
came the fabulous Captain Cook, of His Britannic Maj-




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


esty's Navy, to break the long isolation of the islands
when he hove to and dropped the anchors of the Resolution
and the Discovery off their shores in 1778. The natives
looked into the white face of Cook and they thought he
was a god; they looked over his two ships and found
blacksmith's forges and iron nails. It was a great day
when Cook reached them; it meant to the Hawaiians
a contact with an unbelievably rich world far beyond
their waters, and it meant to the white man the discovery
of a halfway station for white explorers and traders and
ships of war.
But it ended badly; Cook, god or no god, was killed.
They buried him with honors and they remembered him
and his ships mainly for two things: they remembered
that he was a brave man, and that his men fought with a
terrible weapon called a gun. No other foreigner reached
them for seven long years; then came a procession of
ships with guns naval craft that were French, British,
Spanish, and at last American. Those ships and the
merchantmen that followed in their wake were a blessing
and a curse; they brought the comforts and the poisons
of Western civilization. They brought guns and gun-
powder, cloth and clothing, furniture, frying pans, ham-
mers, and chisels; goats, turkeys, mosquitoes, fleas, scor-
pions, tobacco, whiskey, dice, venereal disease, Bibles and
Christianity, leprosy, measles, medicines, ships, and mili-
tary strategy. They also brought a disregard for idols and
apu. The sailors on these ships were sailors; they im-
ported violence, bloodshed, and drunken brawls; they
smashed idols, they violated every moral law, they took
the name of Pele in vain, and they would even bloody




HAWAII


the nose of a chief and nothing happened! These sail-
ors robbed chief, priest, and god of their last vestige of
power and prestige. They proved the idols impotent and
made the threats of the old regime of terror look so foolish
and meaningless that the king himself finally stepped in
to burn what idols were left, tear down the old temples
and leave his people with no religious faith whatever.
From Cook in 1778 to the abolition of kapu in i8q1
was nearly half a century and for Hawaii it was nearly
fifty years of disintegration. Kamehameha the First, called
the Great, had welded the islands into one kingdom; he
organized the government, checked foreign aggression
and internal oppression, suppressed crime, and encour-
aged industry. That was progress, but it wasn't enough.
Beneath the pomp and circumstance of this wealthy
king there ate the cancer of social and spiritual decay.
The old order was passing, the old sanctions dying. From
the decks of visiting ships came a new interpretation of
the phenomena of nature and the word "democracy,"
which was a stick of dynamite in the foundations of the
ancient feudal system. Native women heard of the free-
dom of Western women, and revolt against their own
condition began to smolder. At the same time, the ad-
verse influence of the white man's immorality was added
to the Hawaiian's, and it seemed as though the kindly,
affectionate people of these enchanted isles were to be-
come a nation of loafers and drlnkards. That's about
what has happened wherever the materialists of Western
civilization have reached strangepeoples in advance of
the mosqral stondnrdg of Western Christianity.i t
Then, suddenly, like providential argosies out of the




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


sea-mists, came the whalers and the Christian mis-
sionaries.
The whalers got there first, in 1819- the same year
that saw the abolition of kapu. Two whalers came that
year, the first of the great fleets of hunters on the trail
of the sperm whale off the coasts of Japan. The harbors
of Honolulu and Lahaina became white with whalers'
sails and their streets a bedlam with white sailors ashore,
hunting excitement. Excitement to them meant fight and
riot. As late as 1852, a mob of sailors burned down the
Honolulu police station and kept the town in a state of
terror for twenty-four hours. They did the reputation of
the white man no good, and the debauchery they spread
among the native population was a major factor in
spreading disease, accelerating the death rate, and driving
down the birth rate. Bad as it was, all this has probably
been overemphasized by most students and writers. The
sailors from the West brought as much good as evil.
The master of one of these ships was a Captain Bretnal,
of New Haven, Connecticut. During one of his stopovers
in Honolulu, a Hawaiian youngster named Qbokiah
swam out to his ship and smuggled himself aboard as a
stowaway. The skipper liked the boy, who told him, on the
long trip to the States, that he had been adopted by an
uncle who was a native priest, and who planned to make
a priest of him. The Captain took the boy home to New
Haven, renamed him Henry, and with him made history.
Henry was found one bitter evening crying his heart out
on the steps of an old building at Yale College. Professor
E. W. Dwight found him, and Dwight was one of the men
who had attended the famous haystack prayer meeting at




HAWAII


Williams College. He was one of the "cranks" who were
actually goading the church in America to send foreign
missionaries to the heathen. What he did to the spirit of
This little heathen youngster had a great deal to do with
the making of modern Hawaii.
Dwight sat down on the steps to talk things over with
Henry Obookiah. Henry told him that he wept because
"nobody gave him learning"; others say that he said he
was disconsolate because there were no Christians to teach
his people. Either way, it reached the heart of Dwight,
who put his arms around the boy and took him home.
Henry spent most of his adolescent years in the home of
the Dwights and the home of Samuel J. Mills another
haystacker. He joined the church and he inspired the
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions
(Congregational) to establish a missionary school at
Cornwall, Connecticut, for the training of "heathen
youth." Henry signed up with the first class, did so well
that he became what we today would call "the one most
likely to succeed," caught typhus and died.
Henry died but not his dream. Two years after he
was buried in New England, seventeen missionaries
walked up the gangplank of the Thaddeus, in Boston Har-
bor, en route to Hawaii. They were the pioneers, the first
to go. They were a strange and splendid company; only
two of them, Asa Thurston and Hiram Bingham, were
ordained ministers. There were a printer, a doctor, a
farmer, two teachers, and three Hawaiian "helpers,"
with their wives and children. Their instructions from
the American Board were enough to make a fainthearted
Christian throw up his hands in horror.




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


They were to do nothing less than to:
Aim at covering these islands with fruitful fields and
pleasant dwellings and schools and churches; of raising up
the whole people to an elevated state of Christian civiliza-
tion; of bringing, or perhaps be the means of bringing, thou-
sands and millions of the present and succeeding generations
to the mansions of eternal blessedness. To obtain an
adequate knowledge of the language of the people; to make
them acquainted with letters; to give them the Bible, with
skill to read it; to turn them from their barbarous courses
and habits; to introduce and get into extended operation
and influence among them, the arts and institutions of
civilized life and society; above all, to convert them from
their idolatries and superstitions and vices, to the living and
redeeming God.

It was a large order, but they did it. As we look back
at them now, we find an amazing evidence that they
carried out every last one of those orders.
It took them six months to get there in the Thaddeus,
a tiny brig that tossed like a chip in the wild seas. They
traveled thirteen thousand miles to the shores of a strange
and thanks to the riotous sailors who had preceded
them almost hostile land. They left behind their
friends, their homes, their families, to talk of an unknown
Christ to a people who had just destroyed their idols and
torn down their temples. They went to live in whatever
houses they could find, to face the hatred of the white
ne'er-do-wells from the ships. It was bad enough for the
men; what must it have been for the women?
They were told not to expect too much too quickly, and
quickly they worked miracles miracles, against the




HAWAII


opposition of white and Oriental ex-convicts, buccaneers,
beachcombers, grogshop and brothel keepers, blackbird-
ers (slave traders), and lawbreakers of every description
who said there was no God that side of Cape Horn. They
got more opposition from these men than they did from
the natives, who soon became aware of the fact that in
the missionaries they had a different brand o anigrs in
their midst. Here were white men preac ing a kindly God
who loved all men, of whatever color, equally; a God of
justice and fair play. They spoke of righteousness and
love; they had a raceless, living Christ. What was more,
they practised what they preached. The natives stopped,
looked, listened, and were convinced. Within ninety days
of their arrival the missionaries had the King reading
the New Testament in English!
With them in the Thaddeus they brought an old print-
ing press, quaintly said to be "somewhat like Benjamin
Franklin's." It may have been the first printing press set
up west of the Rockies. Within two years' time they had
the Hawaiian language set in type; on the seventh of
January a native chief took off that press the first printed
page in the history of the islands; it was a page out of
Webster's spelling book. By the end of the month a six-
teen page speller and reader had been printed in a five-
hundred-copy first edition. It was the first of a flood of
primers, Scripture tracts, hymnals, and Testaments to be
thrust into the hands of a wondering people to whom, up
to then, print on a page had meant no more than hen
scratches in the earth.
A decree from the King commanded that "when schools
are established, all the people shall learn the palapala




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


(books, writings), adults as well as children." Came the
deluge: a whole nation tried to get into the schoolrooms
that the missionaries frantically struggled to provide.
Reinforced by more missionaries from Boston, they set
up grass huts under the palms and a few more substantial
buildings of wood and stone, and set about the business
of making a nation literate. By 1826 there were 26,000
pupils, mostly grownups. By 1846 it was reported that
80 per cent of the people could read. No other nation on the
face of the earth has a record like that. In 26 years, a
nation's illiteracy had been conquered.
The missionaries printed leaflets, pamphlets, and news-
papers; they informed the people on matters religious,
social, economic, and agricultural. They taught manual
training, the three R's, agriculture, husbandry, spelling,
road-building, engraving, and where there was one to
grasp them philosophy and theology. When the people
of Maui showed signs of losing their lust for learning
and started playing hookey, their chief decreed that they
could neither marry nor hold office unless they could read
- and the rush was on again. They saw their teachers
advanced to a respectability they had once accorded their
gods. They were cheered when those teachers and those
missionaries became counselors and advisers to the King,
planning with him to set the people free, to give the com-
mon people of the kingdom the democratic rights and
privileges that they had been hitherto denied, to divide
the land among all instead of the few, among King, chiefs,
and people, and to lay the foundations of a genuinely
Christian commonwealth.
From 1820 to 1848, it cost the American Board one




HAWAII 15

million dollars to send and keep these first missionaries
in Hawaii, and there was more than one close-fisted
Yankee in Boston who wondered whether it was worth
whaSt cost. But can such an accomplishment as theirs be
reckoned in dollars and cents? Can you figure th "nfit
fnvntire people frnm ignorance to literacy?
Or their conversion from the debasement of an outlawed
paganism to the inspirations of the Christian gospel? A
great revival swept the islands in 1839-41 and brought
into the church i9,7j new members one fifth of the
entire population. At Hilo the Reverend Titus Coan bap-
tized 1,705 converts in twenty-four hours, using a broom
to sprinkle water on the rows of the saved, kneeling in
rows along the beach. It was the siritial rehirth of the
Hawaiian people. Out of the converted host they sent
missionaries of their own to the Mtarqueas and the Gil-
bert Islands, and to many another unknown island in the
Pacific wastes. Back to the United States came a young
man named Armstrong, son of one of the Boston pioneers,
to found Hampton Institute in Dixie; out of Hampton
came Tuskegee and the immortal Booker T. Washington.
Cast your bread your dollars on the waters,
and
Put this on the credit side, too: the widow of Kame-
hameha the Great became Christian. Following her were
three remarkable Christian women: Koahunau, Kinau,
Kapiolani. Kapiolani it was who went out to defy Pele
at the volcano; the great lady traveled 150 miles, most
of it on foot, with a company of eighty followers who were
frightened nearly out of their wits when Kapiolani stood
on the brink of the volcano, ate some of Pele's forbidden




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


ohelo berries, and threw a handful of stones straight into
the ugly, bubbling face of the goddess. They sang a
Christian hymn and went quietly home again. It was the
end of Pele; thereafter, ohelo berries were used only for
housewives' pies.
Writing to Boston for reinforcements, in 1826, the
missionaries asked the board to send them teachers who
could give "competent instruction immediately in the
sciences of government. ." They were particularly
anxious to get those teachers in government first because
the King wanted them to come, and second because they
saw the chance of a lifetime to make the Hawaiian gov-
ernment over quickly into a constitutional monarchy.
The board missed the chance; they felt in Boston that
government was a secular business. It was the most re-
grettable mistake in the missionary effort of the century,
and three of the leading Congregational missionaries in
Hawaii resigned in protest, to accomplish as secular lead-
ers what they could not accomplish as missionaries.
Mr. William Richards became interpreter and adviser
to His Majesty Kamehameha III, and later minister of
public instruction. Dr. G. P. Judd took over the office of
minister of foreign affairs, and for ten long years he was
in more ways than one the real ruler of the land. Lorrin
Andrews resigned his missionary status to become an
associate justice on the Supreme Court bench.
The King was glad to get them; he knew in his heart
that the old order w changing fast, that democracy had
arrived wit Christianity, and that he was powerless
against these new tremendous forces boring from within
his kingdom. He was a smart king; he fell in step, and did




HAWAII


what had to be done. This king, since he was a boy of
twelve, had been tutored by these missionaries; he had
grown up a Christian. At fifteen he sent criers through his
streets telling the people that henceforth there would be
quick punishment for the cardinal sins of his nation: mur-
der, theft, and adultery. His people accepted this readily
enough, but the white population did not. They fought
those laws. When more laws were suggested against the
selling of liquor and gambling, they fought harder than
ever. The King called for a Christian observance of the
Sabbath and a howl that must have been heard in
China went up from white throats. But the King signed
the laws, nevertheless.
A cow belonging to the British Consul wandered onto a
native farm and got herself shot for trespassing. The na-
tive farmer who shot her got himself dragged through the
streets on the end of a rope, en route to a first-class lynch-
ing; dragging him was the Englishman and an American
friend. When the victim was snatched out of his hands,
the Consul was furious; he demanded his "rights." The
King and the King's advisers responded with a law that
not only took care of the "famous cow case" but that put
the white man in his place for good: "If any man shall
transgress the laws, he is liable to the penalty (which
shall be) the same for every foreigner and the people of
these islands. ." Law enforcement had arrived as well
as law making. The missionary was the first white man
in the islands to stand against one law for the white man,
another for the native.
Dr. Judd wrote in 1838 that "there is much agitation
in the public mind. The influence of the missionaries .




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is very decidedly against the ancient system of govern-
ment. The 'rights of men,' 'oppression,' 'blood and sin-
ews' are much talked of, and a sort of impatience is per-
ceivable. ." Out of the impatience came a little
thunderbolt of a pamphlet (written by Dr. Richards) that
i began with the words, "God hath made of one blood all the
nations of men, to dwell on the face of the earth in unity
and blessedness. God hath also bestowed certain rights
on all men, and all chiefs, and all people of all lands.
These are some of the rights which he hath given alike
to every man and every chief: life, limb, liberty, the labor
of his hands, and the productions of his mind. ." It
wav Mna gna C.hart_ a d the Decl"ration of Independence
rolled into onend by 84 this language was written
into a constitution that provided, among numerous other
benefits, for the individual ownership of land. This con-
stitution was the h warrant of the old feudalism; it
replaced a monarchy that was absolute with one that was
constitutional. Dr. Judd helped rewrite those principles
into an improved constitution of I842 -a document
that is still the cornerstone of Hawaiian government.
The revolution was working in several directions at
once; it was aci for instance, as well as political.
Hawaiians began to wear Western clothes. The chiefs
asked for that. A system of Hawaiian sports, based on
the old paganism, was changed; new (American) sports
took the stage. The poison was working, fast!
Some said and still say that the missionaries went
too far. It is not often written but frequently whispered
that these missionaries were grim Puritans with ice water
instead of blood in their veins; they that forced upon an




HAWAII


easygoing, peaceable, entirely lovable native a rigid,
almost brutal Old Testament code that was entirely un-
suited to him and entirely unnecessary; that they were
"bluenosed reformers" with narrow views of the Sabbath
and alcohol; that they built cold Puritan meetinghouses
on that languorous landscape, preached in tweeds and
street clothes, demonstrated an unenviable intolerance to-
ward those of other faiths, and capped it all by "desert-
ing the church" for places of power in the government
from which they exploited the natives, stole their lands,
and left their own children beautifully, comfortably rich.
Some little of this is true; most of it is slander. By the
standards of our own day, these men were often narrow
and even intolerant; their world was like that. Otherwise,
they were men of the highest standards. They did not
quit'their church for selfish reasons, or for gain; only three
resigned their official positions in the church, and they
resigned at the request of a king who desperately needed
their help. It is good for Hawaii that they and not the
grogshop men became powers behind the throne. With
but one possible exception, not one of these men became
even moderately wealthy. Some of their sons and grandsons
went into business and industry and made fortunes, but
in a free commonwealth there is no law against that!
ThAy stolen Lardfrom any native; rather, they gave the
land of the islands back to the people after generations of
feudalism. Some there are who make great capital of the
generosity of Governor Boki of Oahu, who turned over to
Hira m-Bingham a tract of land in gratitude for Bingham's
work among his people. What they forget to mention is
that on that land was built Oahu College.




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


These sons and grandsons went into business at an op-
portune time -just at the time when it became possible
for foreigners to acquire land and work it in their own
right. The missionaries at court made this possible, but it
is hardly probable that they did it for the benefit of white
men who had fought them and their laws from the start;
it was done in the interest of all the people of the islands.
In a plan worked out by Dr. Judd and the King, one third
of the land was reserved for king and government, one
third was given to the chiefs, and the last third to the
people. Known as the Great Mahele, this new land law
provided that after 1850, non-Hawaiians could also ac-
quire land. That did it! Men with an eye to profit looked
at the rich soil of Hawaii, began thinking of sugar cane
and other crops, and at their hands, Hawaii was in for
another revolution.
Even in a nation's economy, it seems, there is a divinity
working. This was certainly true of Hawaii, for things
were going badly with Hawaii, economically, when the
Great Mahele was signed. The whaling industry was be-
ginning to deteriorate; the Civil War in the States fin-
ished it, and by 1870, the great fleets had vanished com-
pletely. The second King Kamehameha died, and with
him perished the last of the real rulers; some of those who
followed him were enough to make Kamehameha the
Great turn in his grave. They led a reversion to the old
paganism; a princess went once again to sacrifice at a
volcano in Hilo.
King Kalakaua licentious, meddlesome, intemp-
erate, and dishonest revived the hula, superstition,
drunkenness, and ignorance, and fanned furiously the




HAWAII


fires of hatred against the foreigner. He took a trip around
the world that turned out to be a global drinking bout,
imported ancient artillery from Austria, and sent a fifth-
rate battleship to Samoa in a comic opera effort to es-
tablish "Hawaiian supremacy in the Pacific." It might
have been funny, but the people thought otherwise.
They stood it as long as they could, and then they rebelled
and forced from their playboy king promises that he
would keep his hand out of the whole business of law-
making, and do nothing without the advice and consent
of the cabinet. He was reduced to the status of a shadow-
king. After him came Queen Liliuokalani, who tried to
begin where he left off; she licensed national lotteries to
replenish her coffers, announced that she had no use
for the constitution, and brought down on her head an-
other revolution that ended the monarchy for good.
Hawaii became the Republic of Hawaii in 1894; four
years later, caught between fires in the Spanish-American
War, Hawaii petitioned to be annexed to the United
States and was given a territorial status by Congress.
The missionaries, so all powerful in the past, were now
faced by a rising tide of misfortune. The board in Boston
cut them off. The board felt that the islands were now
"sufficiently Christianized" to go their own way, that
they were no longer to be listed under the head of "for-
eign missions," but as "home missions." The fate of the
churches in Hawaii depended upon a handful of mission-
aries and a host of native pastors and teachers, few of
whom were rooted deeply in the faith, or sufficiently
trained to bear the increased load of responsibility.
Real competition began to arrive in the Roman Cath-




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


olics, and later in the Mormons. TheCatholire hnd been
fighing fo a footh_ as-eara_827, but they ld jnot
been successful against the Calvinists from New
England. But in 1839 there came such a relaxing of the
old bitterness that an Edict of Toleration was passed,
and the door was thrown open for every faith and creed.
In less than thirty days, a French warship put ashore two
Roman Catholic priests; the Catholic work grew so rap-
idly that by 1896, 32 per cent of the Hawaiians were
Roman Catholics. Fifty per cent remained Protestants.
The Catholics soon had their missionary heroes, the
greatest of whom was Father Damien. Damien was a
Belgian priest who reached Honolulu in 1863; he went
out to the most undesirable spot in the Pacific to the
leper colony on the island of Molokai, where the victims
of the dread disease were hidden carefully and tragically
away from the healthy, to die in squalor and neglect.
The little Belgian gave them his life, but there was little
he could do for them against "the Chinese sickness."
Dean's derivative of chaulmoogra oil (discovered by
President Dean of the University of Hawaii) had not
yet reached the host of sufferers. There was not much
he could do when he contracted leprosy himself, but he
prayed and served and suffered until death came. They
buried him at Kalawao, and they honored him as one of
the world's noblest martyrs. Catholic and Protestant loved
him. When they dug up his body a half-century later
and took it back to his native land, the King of the Bel-
gians and diplomats from all over the world bowed to his
spirit in the Cathedral of Antwerp. Few missionaries
have known such honor.




HAWAII


What Father Damien accomplished was a modern
miracle: he made civilization do something about lep-
rosy. Molokai today is no pest-hole; its population stead-
ily decreases, and those sent there are treated not like
animals but like human beings. It is one of the great tri-
umphs of medicine and the Christian faith, working
hand in hand.
On the heels of the Catholics came the Mormons from
Utah. They had and still have good leaders, a
constant stream of young volunteers who have offered
two years out of their lives to the propagation of their
faith. They gained many recruits with the suggestion that
the Hawaiians were one of the lost tribes the sons of
Laie. They have built here two of the loveliest temples in
the world, they have a substantial membership in their
church, and they are accepted on equal footing with all
other churches in the islands.
The Anglicans came at the personal invitation of
Kamehameha IV; they were officially sponsored by
Queen Emma, widow of another Kamehameha. Some
little friction developed between the Anglicans and the
revolutionary minded Congregationalists from New
England, but that is happily gone now.
It may be that these setbacks for the church really
worked to the benefit of the islands, stimulating the
church to greater effort in new directions. A series of
Kamehameha schools were opened; church schools and
homes and training centers sprang up; the famous Central
Union Church began its outstanding work, and the
church generally took off its coat and went to work for
the bewildering hordes of immigrants who poured into




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


the islands to work the sugar and pineapple plantations.
The church came almost to despair of the Hawaiian
population; their numbers began to decrease at an amaz-
ing rate, thanks to intermarriage with the foreigners and
an exodus on the ships that called at their ports. The
church changed its attack; it worked now with the newer
and larger groups, to become the leaven in the lump of
the strangest conglomerate civilization on the face of
the earth.
Sugar was responsible for this population shift. By the
close of the Civil War, a thousand tons of sugar were
shipped abroad annually. America could have used all
of it, but some went to Australia, and Washington be-
came sufficiently worried about that Australian com-
petition to write a reciprocity treaty in 1875, which
arranged an exchange of produce between the States
and Hawaii on a tax-free basis. With an eye to the future
the Americans wrote into that treaty a clause that would
mean much later: it was stipulated that Pearl Harbor
was to be set aside as a coaling station for the exclusive
use of the United States Navy.
The sugar planters had things all their own way with
land and climate and a fine tax-free market in the States;
they lacked, however, one great essential, and that was
labor. The Hawaiians were not temperamentally suited
to working huge plantations in gangs; theirs had been a
carefree existence up to now, and they had no intention
of changing that. So the planters looked around'the world,
and as early as 1852 the Thetis arrived from Amoy, China,
with two hundred Chinese laborers. For awhile they tried
Negroes; the blackbirders worked with a heavy hand and




HAWAII


a disgraceful recruiting system. The British Navy didn't
like the spectacle of their Gilbert Island natives being
stolen and worked like that, and the Negroes didn't work
very well anyway, so the planters gave up the idea of
black labor and went back to the Chinese and the
Portuguese, Puerto Ricans, Filipinos, and Japanese. The
Japanese worked hard; by 1893 there were 22,000 Japa-
nese in Hawaii; in seven years 50,000 more reached the
sugar fields. Twenty-six thousand came in the twelve
months of 1899, and then the United States stepped in
with the Territorial Organic Act to stop further whole-
sale importation of foreign labor. It was about time!
This was a contract-labor system; while it lasted, it was
pure heaven for the planters. Chinese coolies, for in-
stance, were imported to work for three dollars a month,
plus food, clothing, and a place to live. They served for
five years; if they attempted to break that contract, they
committed a crime. Any worker who willfully stayed away
from his job could be made to serve double the time he
was absent, and many a coolie who tried to get away for
good tasted the fire of the blacksnake whip. The worst the
master of this contract labor could expect for cruelty to
his worker or misuse of the contract was a fine of five to
one hundred dollars, or a short term in jail. Not many
masters went behind the bars. They were too powerful for
that; they were the men who helped bring about the re-
volt out of which was born the republic, and they had
much to do with the development of annexation. It is to
be said in their favor, however, that this contract system
was not all their own doing; home governments insisted
that the immigrants be protected by contracts signed




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


before the workers went on board ship, to guarantee
employment at stated wages.
With the development of the sugar and pineapple -
plantations came one of the most unique institutions in
the economic history of the islands. This was te Big
Five five colossal, octopus-like business houses that
timately took charge of nearly every profit-making en-
deavor of the land. They were five firms acting at first
simply as business agents for the plantations, but they
soon managed to get hold of plantations of their own.
"They built the largest and most efficient sugar refinery
(in the world; they built a huge feetfships and named it
\he Matson Line; they absorbed interisland shipping,
built hotels for the tourist trade, went into insurance,
cattle, pineapples, banking. They monopolized the whole-
salin of imported goods, and held 90 per cent of the re-
tail stock of t e islands in their warehouses. They got into
public utilities; every man, woman, and child riding a
street car paid them tribute; every housewife turning on
the gas was working for them. They took over electric
systems and communication systems. They had in their
hands the most complete monopoly the world has ever
seen, and they protected their hold by going into politics
and electing men who would protect them there.
It was a sprawling, almost heartless monopoly, and it
has been criticized bitterly. This was paternalism without
apology, but it must be said here that in comparison with
other paternalisms of the day, it was all in all-a fairly en-
lightened paternalism. Some few plantation masters
there were who faced the rising tide of labor unions with
the suggestion that "a good taste of the blacksnake whip




HAWAII


will take care of that," but the whip did not last very long.
Some of the barracks in which their imported labor was
housed were definitely bad, but they were not long in pro-
viding better houses. Whether that housing came because
of protest or because the planters realized that better
housing made for more contented labor doesn't matter
much; it came. Good hospitals were erected on or near
plantations. Sanitation engineers were at work here long
before they were at work elsewhere in the Pacific, in
similar situations. Recreation was provided; welfare
workers were brought in. Wages were small, but houses,
light, fuel, water, and medical aid were free, and a profit-
sharing bonus developed as the years wore on.
Paternalism, yes. But lest we in the United States criti-
cize too harshly, we would do well to remember what was
going on right here at home, at the same time, with the
monopolies of Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Armour. Men
fell into the lard vats of the packers in Chicago and were
ground up into "pure leaf lard," and conditions around
the stockyards and in the steel mills were as bad or worse
than conditions on the plantations of Hawaii. These plant-
ers were bad enough, but they were on the whole pro-
gressive. Some damn the Big Five as tyrants and perse-
cutors; others say that this paternalism "saved the
Hawaiian Islands from complete economic and social
collapse." The truth is probably somewhere in between.
Now imagine what this order of things did to social
life. Here were vast armies of foreign workers thrown
together in the plantations and in the cities and towns -
men, women, and children of widely different back-
grounds, cultures, and races, hurled into "the American




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


melting-pot" under conditions that should have pro-
duced wholesale chaos -and in many instances did.
Disease, poverty, race prejudice, and vice took a heavy
toll. Infant mortality stood at 120 per oo1000 in 1922; a
year later it had jumped to 139.9! The diminishing
Hawaiian population diminished at an increasingly
larger rate. Buddhist temples leaped out of the ground to
confound the Christians, Japanese manners and lan-
guage schools worried the patriots, Filipino quarters in
the barracks and slums bothered the sanitation engineers
and the doctors, "hostile" flags waved all over the place,
and human rights went by the board. The Big Five and
the planters had developed the finest sugar and pineapple
techniques in their world; they had failed and failed badly
when it came to the human factor. Such institutions as
the church, the Y.M.C.A., and the Salvation Army
worked hard to keep the candle of faith alive in the midst
of all this. They were the only institutions in the islands
fighting night and day for the more abundant life, but the
grip of the Big Five was a firm one, and it seemed as
though such spiritual and benevolent institutions as these
were so many Canutes sweeping with a broom against an
unconquerable tide.
With a sickening suddenness, the whole picture changed.
At 7:55 on th morning of December g most of
Honolulu was either asleep or playing golf. Some few
earlyrisers were listening to a Mormon broadcast from
Salt Lake City; the announcer had just concluded with
the words, and may peace be with you this
day ." when another announcer broke in with
". .. the island of Oahu is under attack!" Japanese




HAWAII


planes filled the blue dome overhead; the rising sun was
seen on their wing-tips. Of the first thirty-six civilians
killed that morning, twenty were Japanese!
In a matter of minutes, the whole government of the
islands died and another ruled. The military took over,
and the military is still there, in 1948. Civilians were
ordered off the streets; Hawaii was no longer theirs.
The headquarters of the lumber division of the Big
Five was hit and burned. Matson Line sailings were can-
celed, the liners sunk or taken over for the duration. Inter-
island traffic stopped immediately. Army and Navy offi-
cers took over whatever offices or buildings they needed;
the writ of habeas corpus was suspended; the hundred-
year-old controls of the Big Five vanished into thin air
at the hands of the officers in khaki and blue. It was all
quite legal; the Organic Act provided for military rule
of the islands in case of invasion.
Military courts were substituted for civil; military po-
lice now enforced military law. Army Reserves took over
the post office, and all saloons and liquor establishments
were closed. Six central ruling boards were set up, to con-
trol imports and exports, food, medicines, fuel, labor (and
that was most important), cargoes, passengers, liquor, and
alien property. The men of the Big Five moaned aloud
that the military had "taken everything but the kitchen
sink," and that was true.
A new aristocracy the cult of the uniform was
established. Administrators swarmed in from Washing-
ton. It had a permanent aspect and it was permanent.
Parks, recreational facilities, and school buildings be-
came too per cent military. Two of the biggest high




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


schools became hospitals; a private school went to the
army engineers. Eight hundred public schools were
closed; half the teachers went into service, and legions of
school children went to work in the sugar and pineapple
fields. Sugar cane land in cultivation dwindled by 12 per
cent. War industries sprang up everywhere, the materiel
of war was piled high for miles inland, and troopships
began unloading at the docks. Hawaii rubbed its eyes -
and wondered what it was in for now!
Hawaii was in for a long war, during which the whole
tempo of life was upset. The military governors from the
mainland, on the whole, handled the situation well.
Their first job was defense; they were not there to guide
any social or economic experiment. Some few of them
were race baiters, but not many; most of them were con-
scientious men. The people of Hawaii responded with a
loyalty and cooperation that was little short of amazing.
They filled and refilled their blood banks; they rushed
into defense work of all descriptions; their home guard
was on the docks when the first troopships arrived. Ha-
waii was alone among the states and territories of the
union in exceeding every war bond quota during the
first two years of war.
Most amazing of all was the loyalty record of the
islands' one hundred fifty thousand Japanese. The Japa-
nese Consul was caught in December burning certain
treasonable papers in his bathtub, and some.spy suspects
were apprehended, as they were in continental United
States. But these were espionage and consular agents of
the Japanese government. The 1,479 people taken into
custody for varying periods were, it is true, largely Japa-




HAWAII


nese; but Mr. Edgar Hooverf thF.B.I. (who should
know!) is responsible for the statement that there was no
sabotage whatever in Hawaii either before or after Pearl
Harbor. Many of the suspects were released after ques-
tioning or a hearing before a special board of citizens.
The Hawaiian Territorial Guard was made up largely
of college and high school graduates who volunteered on
December 7 to guard island utilities; thousands of them
were of Japanese parentage or descent, and their record
is a good one. Soon after the Guard was mobilized on
January 23, General Emmons, ranking Army officer in
the islands, received a letter from them protesting an
Army action that dropped them from the Guard. They
wrote: "We joined the Guard voluntarily, with the hope
that this was one way to serve our country in her time of
need. Needless to say, we were disappointed when we
were told that our services were no longer required.
Hawaii is our home; the United States is our country.
We know but one loyalty, and that is to the Stars and
Stripes. We wish to do our part as loyal Americans in
every way possible, and we hereby offer ourselves for
whatever services you may see fit to use us." General
Emmons used them as auxiliary labor forces at Schofield
Barracks; he called them "one of my favorite units among
the Army forces of my Hawaiian command." The myth
of Japanese faithlessness among island-born Japanese was
finished forever at the hands of these boys, and at the
hands of those Nisei (second generation Japanese) sol-
diers who died on the beaches of Italy.
As the war went on, a peaceful revolution got under
way. Most noticeable was the revolt in the ranks of labor.




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


Trouble here went all the way back to the end of the last
century; the Japanese Consul in Honolulu had the time
of his life trying to prevent a general strike among Japa-
nese laborers the day after annexation. In I909, seven
thousand Oahu sugar laborers walked out of the fields,
striking for more money and better housing. The planters
broke that strike, at an estimated cost of two million
dollars. Another strike began in 1920, and this time it
cost the planters some twelve million to put it down.
Breaking the 1920 affair was a Pyrrhic victory; the plant-
ers knew, when that was over, that they could not much
longer keep men in their fields ten and twelve hours a
day on a wage of one dollar a day. There followed a
flood of strikes; mechanics, electricians, carpenters, and
longshoremen went out. Unions were organized in spite
of managers' threats and epithets of "red" and "Com-
munist" thrown at those who dared join unions. Anti-
labor laws were jammed through, and they were not
worth the paper they were printed on. Brewery workers,
laundry workers, teamsters, and metal tradesmen signed
up with the AFL; clerks in the five-and-tens, stevedores
and sugar laborers went CIO. It was a rising tide.
The planters and industrialists thought, when the war
came, that they had the perfect weapon to kill all this;
they would appeal to patriotism against the unions. And,
they thought, the military men would stand with them.
They guessed wrong. The military stood with the unions
and saw to it that labor was represented on each of the
boards set up to handle manpower problems. Labor got
better pay, hours, and housing, and in response labor
turned in an excellent record in war production.




HAWAII


Today, unionism is a fact in Hawaii. A territorial sugar
strike lasting seventy-five days all but paralyzed the land
in 1946, just as strikes were all but paralyzing the main-
land. The worker was coming into his own with a revolu-
tion that on the whole was much less violent than the
one on the mainland.
With Japan beaten, Hawaii faces a future clouded by ;
uncertainty. Her people ask one another, "What next?
What now? Are we to be just a military or naval outpost?
Will we become the forty-ninth state? Just where do we
go from here?"
What happens in awaii now depends upon a dozen
imponderables. It must be remembered that Hawaii is
not a possession, but an integral part of the United Sttes
governed under the Organic Act of 1900. She sends a
representative to Congress (who may argue and present
bills but not vote); she has a governor appointed by the
president of the United States and an elective legislature,
a fine system of courts with a chief justice and two asso-
ciate judges of five circuit courts. Hawaii s tht most
highly organized territory created by Congress1 the only
one to be given the administration and revenue of her
public lands, the only one to vote herself into the union.
Both of her major political parties are active and influ-
ential. The voters elect almost all local and territorial
officers; the governor, the secretary of the territory, and
the judges are appointed by the president, with the ap-
proval of Congress. In 1944 there were 84,326 registered I
voters, and more than 85 per cent of them voted!
That's the way it looks, on paper. Actually, Hawaii is
not so democratic. The Army and Navy are still there,




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


and the prospect is that they will stay there as the repre-
sentatives of a government that will at least attempt to
keep control of the central and western Pacific as a na-
tional defense area. A t elwill e width of
Oahu, providing quick access from Pearl Harbor to
Kaneohe Bay the latter to succeed, probably, Pearl
Harbor as the main naval base of the islands.
The military has, however, already relinquished most
if not all of its extraordinary war powers. President Roose-
velt, as early as 1944, restored the writ of habeas corpus;
trials of civilians by military courts were discontinued.
The ten o'clock curfew lasted well into 1945 before it was
discontinued, and there still remains a military censor-
ship on civilian mail and radio-telephone communica-
tion. There may still be some few civilians serving jail
sentences imposed by military courts-martial. Just how
soon the governing of the islands will be 100 per cent
civilian, nobody knows. Hawaii's future, in the military
sense, depends largely upo wht is dinter-
national politicians and diplomats gathered in the United
Nations Assembly at Lake Success.
Statehood? That' anybody's guesstoo. Many feel that
a temporary commission should be set up as an interim
government until Hawaii becomes a state. The drive for
statehood has been a consistent one ever since 93; it is a
drive forever defeated. The islanders themselves are not
by any means unanimous on the subject; when they voted
on statehood in 144, there were 46,124 for it, 2228
against it. No vote has been taken since, but political
activity is fast and furious behind the scenes. Some say
that it is only a matter of a short time; others, that it will




HAWAII


be a long, long time coming. It is a matter of military
development, national security. andol al chance.
e greatest single obstacle to statehood has been the
bugaboo of a a ane majority in Hawaii. Representa-
tive o n Rankin of Mississippi, no Japanese lover,
snorted in 1941, "Do you think we want two Jpanee
senators from Hawaii?" He would be even more in error
now, wit a statement like that, than he was in 1941. The
Japanese Hawaiians have proved that they as well as
some of the whites would make very good senators; they
have also proved that they do nt votes a loc for their
own racial candidates. And the Japanese bloc is no longer
a threat, numerically. In 1945, the Governor of Hawaii
reported that the largest single social grup his islands
was no longer of apanese ancestry, b Caucasian -
a group that had increased by 66 per cent in the last
five years!
That increase in itself is a social revolution, something
quite new in the blood stream of Hawaii. That blood
stream is the most fascinating one in this world. In a re-
cent survey of the nianettwagirls in the Susann
Home orirls (Methodist), these racial mixtures were
disclosed: Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Hawaiian, Korean,
Puerto Rican, Portuguese, American, Russian, Filipino
Puerto Rican, Portuguese Hawaiian, Chinese Hawaiian,
Korean Hawaiian, Filipino Hawaiian, Irish Hawaiian,
Portuguese American, German American, Belgian Fili-
pino, American Filipino, and Irish Portuguese. One girl,
all by herself, was Portuguese Spanish Turkish Hawaiian J
Japanese Korean! Then there was that baseball team on
one of the plantations, getting its orders before the game




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


from the captain: "Lee Hop, you pitch; Fuji, you catch;
you Portugee, on first base; Filipino, on second; Kanaka,
on third; and you, haole (white man), play short!"
Mixed as the bloods have been, the people have worked
out a good understanding between the races. What-
ever race prejudice there is is an adult prejudice arising
out of the natural ambition of workers of all races for the
better jobs. Children and young people know no preju-
dice at all; it is only when economic competition develops
that there is friction. There is some little feeling between
the classes, but it is not ominous. There is probably less
racial conflict here than anywhere else in the civilized
world with comparable cosmopolitan population. One
"mixed-up" girl, offered a chance to come to mainland
United States, turned it down quickly with "No. I don't
want to go. They have race prejudice over there!" One
brown-skinned Hawaiian girl who married a Yankee
sergeant and came home with him spent the first months
in the States in tears; in Hawaii, she had never known
what it meant to be snubbed as "different."
Out of this meltingptis emerging a new Hawaiian
American race. While it is true that most marriages in
Hawai-ae between individuals within the same race,
there are enough of the others to produce a social blend
that is unique. Dr. Sidney L. Gulick, in his book Mixing
the Races in Hawaii sets down the characteristics of this
new race. He thinks that they will be "lighter than the
present Hawaiian, with a tinge of the characteristic
Asiatic yellow the nose will doubtless approximate
the Hawaiian and Caucasian types they will be
relatively tall and heavy will hold a high I.Q. : .




HAWAII


high standards of social and moral life family life
will become more and more like that of the American
people. ." Of course, this neo-Hawaiian American
may be radically altered in case the population groups
suffer other unpredictable shifts in the years ahead, which
they probably will. Anything can happen!
Economic revolt has been accelerated with the ending
of te war Sugar is fighting to hold its high place in the
Hawaiian economy, thanks to an increasingly active
beet and cane industry on the mainland and increased
sugar activity in Latin America. The sugar men will have
to fight for their markets. Pineapple culture, however, re-
mains financially very important. With labor strongly
organized, further radical changes are in prospect. And
besides labor, the industrialists will now have to deal
with a new and powerful middle class that was hardly
noticeable in the prewar days.
The BigFive have lost their hold on shipping; there is
real competition for them now. The third-ranking source
of Hawaiian income, the tours tre mayrevive. With
so much of Europe in ruins, "tourism" may boom in
Hawaii as never before. It may exceed prewar levels.
Gone is the old paternalism. With the arrival of the
War Labor Relations Board, the Social Security Board,
the CIO and the AFL, and the revitalization of the ter-
ritory's Department of Labor, it becomes evident that a
new order has really begun. Hawaii will suffer no eco-
nomic degeneracy. She is still the crossroads of the
Pacific, a key station on the ocean road. Her ports will be
crowded with the ships of peace and war, and an en-
larged military garrison will give her merchants more




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


profitable markets on their own doorsteps than they have
ever enjoyed.
Hawaiian education has been and still is the fire
under the melting pot; the territory today has one of the
finest school system under the American flag. It is the
only part of the union with a centrally controlled, state
supported educational system, the only part in which
rural and city teachers are hired and paid on the same
schedule and that demands that all teachers have the
same advanced training in pedagogy. This did not happen
overnight; it came out of a long and rather painful
educational experience.
In the old grass hut schools of the missionaries, there
were, because of the emergency, a host of ill-equipped
native teachers. The brightest pupils were picked from
these first classes, almost as soon as they could read, and
sent out to teach others to read. The missionaries did
what they could by way of teacher training, but it was not
much. A high school started at Lahainaluna was able for
some years to send teachers to the schools on mission
stations, but even that was a poor arrangement. Not until
the government, petitioned by the missionaries, took over
the problem of providing free public school education
did the improvement really begin.
The government took over in 1840, under a law that
was far from perfect. That law provided, for instance,
that "if a man can read, write, and understand geog-
raphy and arithmetic, and is a quiet and moral man, and
desires a teacher's certificate, it shall be the duty of the
school agent to give him one, and not refuse." Not perfect,
but a start. For the first time, parents were required by




HAWAII


written law to send their children to school, and to pay
the bill for their schooling.
In these common public schools, the teachers attacked
the curse of pidgin English a mongrel speech that,
gathering together words and phrases from the many ra-
cial tongues, was not so funny as deadly to real intelli-
gence. Wisely, the schools decided that English was to be
the language of the islands. It was the speech of a power-
ful minority, but the only one able to stand as a unifier
of all. Put on the tongue of the younger generation, it
proved to be a most potent agent for understanding and
common improvement.
Today, every child from six to fourteen goes to school
five days a week. Many of them, coming out of homes
where no English is spoken, find the going pretty hard for
the first few years, but once English is mastered, the rest is
easy. Foreign language schools were for a long period a
real threat, but the war finished that. Now there are,
above the elementary schools, fifteen junior and senior
high schools into which are poured the children of all
the bewildering array of races. They are thrown together
under well trained native and foreign teachers, and they
do well. Children from these schools have every now and
then scholastically outranked children in comparative
mainland schools. These are the children of peasant im-
migrants, but in them is a decidedly democratic mind-
set, a tendency to put character and ability above blood,
and that is a good omen for the future of Hawaii.
Some experts have seen a danger in the tendency to
educate youth in Hawaii for white collar and "higher
occupations and the professions." They feel that these




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


young people will not look favorably upon the work their
fathers did, and the plantation men have been worried
lest there be no native labor in the islands within the next
few years. But laborsaving machinery seems to be taking
care of that, and enlightened programs of recreation,
wages, and housing are attracting plenty of island-born
youth to offset the loss in imported labor. The school
authorities are quite alive to the danger; they provide
now vocational agricultural, vocational shop, and voca-
tional homemaking classes. It is a tribute to their fore-
sight that they make the requirement for graduation
"the satisfactory completion by the individual of the
curriculum suited to his needs and abilities." Many a main-
land school has not yet reached that high point.
Leaders among the schools of high school grade are
the two Mackinley High Schools, in which all but a very
small minority are Hawaiian-born American citizens,
and the Kamehameha Schools founded by Mrs. Charles
R. Bishop. The Mid-Pacific Institute is a boarding
school for the youth of all races. The famous Punahou
School, founded by the early missionaries for their own
children, has an enrollment that is go per cent Caucasian;
in the interests of racial equality, Punahou insists that the
other o1 per cent be made up strictly of non-Caucasians.
The Protestant Episcopalians have a fine school of high
school grade, out of which have come many of the leading
irizens of modern Hawaii. The peak of the system is the
Uniyverst5 Hawaii, a beautiful i r aal affair that
(just before Pearl Harbor) was drawing students not only
from Hawaii but from Japan, Manchukuo, the Philip-
pines, China, Scotland, India, and the United States.




HAWAII


In the midst of all this is the church. What of her
chances, her future, and opportunities? There are great
imponderables here, too. The future is clouded with
grave uncertainties. Certain only is the plain truth that
the church is tremendously alive and faced with a
tremendous challenge.
Until the war came, the Buddhists and the Shintoists
were the strongest single group in the islands naturally,
in view of the overwhelming majority of Orientals
resident there. But the war has changed all that. While
Orientals may still be the largest single racial group,
Buddhism andLShintoism have received hard body blows
from which they may never recover. The public schools
have educated many Oriental youth awafrom the old
faiths and traditions. Dr. Albert W. Palmer, to whom
we are deeply indebted for much of the background
material in this chapter, tells an amusing story here, of
a Chinese girl brought up by old-country parents. She
was taken by her mother to pray in an ancestral temple,
where she was expected to offer a plate of food at the
feet of the temple idol. Something went wrong: "I de-
cided it was time to stop this foolish custom. So I got
up and slammed down the plate of rice at the foot of
the idol and said, 'So long, old top, I don't believe in
you, anyway.' My mother didn't like that, a little bit."
Buddhism claimed forty thousand adherents in Hawaii
in 1940; while there has been no census since Pearl
Harbor, it is safe to say that the number has seriously
decreased. The failure of Buddhism to train a native
priesthood and the cutting off of the supply of priests
from Japan has left the faith in bad straits. But the




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


leaders of Buddhism are not quitting. During the war
years they produced catechism and simple lesson books;
their Y.M.B.A.'s and Y.W.B.A.'s are again active; they
have asked that they be allowed to teach their religion
in the public schools, just as the Christians do. Definitely
hurt, Buddhism will carry forward as best it can.
When we come to the Christian population and
strength in Hawaii, the picture is approximately this:
Roman Catholics. 145,000
Congregationalists. 15,048
Mormons. 10,629
Episcopalians. 7,463
Methodists. 2,870
Southern Baptists .................. 479
This gives us a numerical Christian, church-member
strength of approximately 181,489. But this figure is
deceptive; the listings are not complete. To these major
denominations must be added other groups the Sal-
vation Army, Seventh Day Adventists, Full Gospel
Mission, and a scattering of others. But the figure still
represents a church population of more than a third of
the total population of 502,122 people. The rest of that
population is, religiously speaking, outside it is un-
churched, and uninterested. What Japanese churchmen
there are, are mostly Buddhists; their Christian popu-
lation is very low. Chinese youth is almost completely
outside the church. The greatest threat to Christian
missions in Hawaii lies in the fact that the youth of the
islands is in danger of going completely secular. The
A only thing that will stop that will be a union of the
Christian forces. That must come quickly.




HAWAII


The Roman Catholic figure of 145,000 adherents is
undoubtedly an exaggeration. It must be remembered
that the Catholics include in this figure all who have
been baptized into the faith, whether they are active or
inactive as church members. Many Catholic writers
familiar with the Hawaiian situation lament the fact that
there are blocs of Filipinos and Puerto Ricans living in
the islands who are in the Catholic church but not of it:
theirs is a lip service, and they are in no way active,
practising Catholics. Their relation to the church is
nominal. But there are still enough practising Catholics
to make them a tremendous power and influence. The
Roman Catholic ehirrh i, -aily the mo't gressiv
church in Hawaii, in social, educational, and political
directions. More than two hundred priests, brothers,
and sisters are at work. They list seven parochial schools,
four private high schools, sixteen parochial elementary
schools, three private elementary schools, one seminary,
with a total of some ten thousand youth under Catholic
instruction.
The Mormons (Church of Latter Day Saints) have
been active since 1843, when Brigham Young sent out
the first of their missionaries. They claim that more than
eighty thousand individuals have belonged to their
church across those years, and their missioners (I,oI6 of
them) have done a great deal to lift the temporal,
spiritual, and moral standards of the people. They have
built in these islands two of the loveliest temples in the
world. The one at Laie is a Mormon center, and more
than one tourist has called it "the Taj Mahal of the
Pacific." To this writer, the Mormon Temple on Oahu




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


is even more beautiful. Mormon missionaries come in an
unending stream from the mainland young men and
women giving two years or more to the propagation of
their faith. They are specializing, at the moment, in
work among the Japanese.
Getting back to the Protestant groups, we find a
picture that is cause both for concern and encourage-
ment. It is easy to find in Hawaii, in a small compass,
a repetition of the denominational shortcomings and
confusions that plague Protestantism everywhere. The
fact that most of the churches are absentee controlled
has resulted in a sad lack of interdenominational co-
operation. When the author of this book asked a Prot-
estant leader on the field for material on interchurch
work, the answer was devastating: "There is no story of
interchurch cooperation here. I could wish there was."
There is an overlapping of fields and work on the part
of several denominations that still seem more interested in
developing their own separate denominational strengths
than in achieving a united Protestant front. Until that
changes, Protestantism will be running a poor second,
or third, in the islands.
But there are certain very encouraging signs of an un-
folding unity, all this to the contrary. The Honolulu
Council of Churches in 1945 took on a full-time execu-
tive. Methodist and Congregational Christian churches
in Honolulu are working together in a Filipino United
Church. The Salvation Army spent $io,ooo on one
single Christmas program last year, reports a total
attendance of 46,122 at indoor meetings for 1945 and a
total youth attendance in all activities of 54,403. The




HAWAII


Y.M.C.A. and Y.W.C.A. provide a training in getting
together for thousands of youth, with an effectiveness
unique even among other Y's around the world -
which is high praise.
Notice the accent on youth in these activities. It is
indicative of most of the major churches, denominational
minded as they are; it is a trend. Deeply concerned with
the possibility of an unchurched, secularized youth in
the islands, these churches are making increasingly
stronger efforts to prevent it.
The Methodists, for instance, have only one strictly
Caucasian church that is First Church, Honolulu;
they have a strong interracial congregation at Harris
Memorial, where the majority of the congregation is
Japanese, worshiping with Caucasians, Negroes, and
other nationalities in perfect harmony. First Church,
Hilo, was formerly a Korean church; it is now distinctly
interracial with seven nationalities worshiping together.
The leadership here is evenly distributed between Ko-
reans and Caucasians.
In their Susanna Wesley Home they have an im-
portant piece of work for girls, many of whom have come
to the home as orphans, waifs, and problem children,
graduated with honors from high school and college,
and made outstanding contributions as religious and
social leaders. They laugh at denominationalism in the
home; more than one Roman Catholic youngster has
been there.
The Episcopalians maintain two missions for Ko-
reans, three for Chinese, two each for Japanese and
Hawaiians; they have six day schools, an orphanage, a




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


hospital at Molokai, and a preparatory school at Iolani
- which, incidentally, trained the father of modern
China, Dr. Sun Yat-sen. The hospital and the college
are grade A efforts in interdenominationalism.
The Episcopalians list an impressive array of mis-.
sionary efforts: the Iolani School for Boys and the St.
Andrew's Priory School for Girls, 7 day schools, 2
preparatory schools, I residence for girls, i children's
home, i hospital, 5 parishes with mixed congregations,
35 missions, of which 3 are strictly Japanese, 3 Hawaiian,
and 4 Chinese. All other Episcopal congregations are
mixed.
The Congregational Christian churches also put their
accent on youth. This denomination has the strongest
single church in Hawaii Central Union Church in
Honolulu, with morethan 1.500 members. It is a-Ca-
casian church, including many of t descendants of
theelymissionaries.and it has been actively interested
in every forwar-ooking enterprise of the church. It was
Central Union that started the famous Palama Settle-
ment project for working people that is one of the most
important social experiments in the islands. At Palama,
thousands of workers and their families in a ten-acre,
half-million-dollar plant have developed schools, medical
clinics, dental facilities, recreational and placement
services, as fine as any found anywhere in the world.
Its program has brought about a change in the let-us-do-
something-for-you philosophy of the old industrial pa-
ternalism, to a let's-do-it-ourselves philosophy on the
part of the people.
The Kalihi Union Church, set down in a teeming




HAWAII


racial melting pot on the outskirts of Honolulu, has a
membership of 542, a church school of 438! Some 1,500oo
children and youth use the playground facilities of
Kalihi Union every week. An ex-Samoan queen was
once a member of this church; so was H. B. Nalimu, who
went out with the Hawaiian Mission to Micronesia in
1852, and the Reverend James Kekela, Hawaiian mis-
sionary to the Marquesas.
Then there is the Church of the Crossroads, with quite
a story behind it. Back in 1921, a group of young Ori-
ental Christians decided they wanted no more of the old
racial churches and the language of their parents; they
sought a common denominator in speech and faith, and
they organized what they called first the Young People's
Service, later the Church of the Crossroads. They
collected the handsome sum of one hundred dollars and
used it as the financial foundation of a church that
stands today as exhibit A in church architecture and
cooperative effort. The Church of the Crossroads aptly
combines both Oriental and Occidental architecture.
Its membership is made up largely of high school and
college youth who recruit new members not from other
churches but from the ranks of the unchurched. It has a
Caucasian pastor and a Caucasian children's worker, a
Japanese American associate for university work, a
Japanese American chairman, a Chinese American
secretary, an interracial staff of six who conduct a daily
preschool experiment, and a membership of about three
hundred. The Church of the Crossroads is worth watch-
ing; it is undoubtedly the type of church that will one
day supplant the present racial congregations.




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


The Honolulu Bible Training School has an enrollment
of 387 young people, 75 per cent of whom are non-Chris-
tians; the other 25 per cent represent twenty-seven
different churches Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Ko-
rean, Hawaiian, Mormon, Roman Catholic, Episco-
palian. The aim of the school is to train good Sunday
school teachers and to give Bible instruction to youth,
from the Protestant point of view; the actual result is the
creation of a common mind in matters spiritual and
moral. The Board of Education, established by the
Honolulu Federation of Churches, maintains a system
of weekday schools of religion to which come children
excused for an hour a week from the public schools.
They are children from every conceivable background;
many of them come out of homes in which neither parent
is a member of any religious organization. The schools
are highly successful in creating a common mind and
faith at the age of plastic adolescence.
Aye, there is much cause for hope in Hawaii. The old
patterns are going, going, gone. Socially, a new race is in
the making; it will be a proud and dignified combination
of all the bloods of mankind, poured into one. As a
democracy of the blood stream, Hawaii could be studied
profitably by the schools and churches of the United
States. Politically, Hawaii trembles between statehood
and the status of a military outpost, an island fortress;
she lives now in an interim period, in the United States
but hardly of it. Economically, she awaits a -new day;
the common man, the workingman, has come into
his own. Religiously, she lacks what she has already
achieved on the social front: unity, tolerance, coopera-




HAWAII 49

tion. In this department of her living, Hawaii needs to
go on from her appreciation that "God hath made of
one blood all nations of men" to an understanding that
he can best do his work in one church of which he need
not be ashamed.



























IF He who formed the earth
and the sea loved to play with wild, primeval forces, He
enjoyed creating Alaska. It is as though He saved this
far north country as playground for His violence; here
He turned loose raging winds and merciless cold and
mountains of crawling ice, and while they still raged He
dared His pet creation, man, to come and conquer it.
Alaska is synonym for terror and triumph, the Arctic
Pandora's box with the lid even yet hardly ajar. The
naturalist John Muir went up there at the end of the




ALASKA


nineteenth century and came back saying, "One learns
that the world, though made, is yet being made."
The beginnings are lost in the grind and clash of polar
_jce- lost there for dark aeons during which the Hand
moved glaciers back and forth like pawns on a chess-
board, digging out valleys and throwing up mountains
and starting icy rivers flowing. The land heaved, cracked,
divided; in the beginning Alaska and Siberia, North
America and Asia, were probably one continent, con-
nected by a bridge of land that the-Creator later tore
away in a moment and sent a narrow strip of water
flowing through.
Across the thousands or millions of years the Creator
changed his mind, sent warmer winds blowing across-at
least the south of Alas, made of it a land where flowers
could grow, and brought the first slimy creatures crawl-
ing out of the water onto the land. They grew slowly,
evolving into mammoths and mastodons that moved
south to warmer climes, then into smaller beasts who
stayed there: bear, walrus, seal, otter muskn ncari bou
and wolf. They were there when the first settlers came.
The first settlers were little brown-yellow men with slit
eyes and high cheek bones and the courage to cross that
terrifying strip of water to the completely unknown land
beyond. Deep out of Asia they came, wanderers driven
by hunger, enemies at their backs, and the old lust for
fresh land. They were the first men in North America,
the ancestors of the American Indian, Soe Age en
then and perhaps the last living representatives of the
Stone Age now. The Algonquins called them Eskis--
",ea~ters~f ofrawl~ esh."




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


The Eskimos became in time the most important single
native group; they moved to the north, preferring to live
where it was cold. There are some 16,ooo Eskimos in
Alaska today. Southward moved the Inians -a native
division of uncertain origin that sifted itself through
time's screen into several tribes still to be found in the
great empty land. In southeastern Alaska the Tlingits
dominated; they were brave men, good warriors. The
Tsimshian Indians entered Alaska with the doughty
William Duncan, from Canada, and they still live as a
close-knit group, on Annette Island. The Haida tribe had
dwindled to 588 in 1930, living on the tip of Prince of
Wales Island. The Athapascans spread themselves thinly
out from Cook's Inlet to the Canadian border; there are
some 5,000 of them left now. The Aleuts were important,
historically; definitely related tothe Eskimos, they have
kept their own culture and speech and some 4,000 of
them live in the Aleutians, on the islands along the penin-
sula and on the peninsula, the remnant of a great people
almost exterminated by the Russians. Altogether, in
1948, we count about 18,000 Indians.
But it is the Eskimo who has held history's eye from
age to age. He was and is a peaceful, likeable human
quantity, a man buffeted by wind, hunger, and a legion
of spirits whom he did his best to appease with charm
and amulet. He followed the fashion of the Indians in
building tote oles for f il identification, and in the
long, ong winter night he conquered oneliness by carv-
ing figures out of ivory. He struggled with suertito
taboo, and the ice-pack he got along.
He had medicine men, but no chief; the Eskimo is a




ALASKA


community man. When he killed a walrus or a whale, he
arcdtb neat. he gave "accoraig as any man had
need," but he tolerated no loafers. A man could marry
when he proved himself good enough as a hunter to feed
a family; if he blundered with his traps and weapons, his
traps and weapons were taken from him. The system
worked. The Eskimo was happy in an isolation that
could not last.
It couldn't last because in this icy workshop the Hand
had laid down stocks of coal, petroleum, and gold. There
was wealth swimming in the waters: otter, seal, walrus,
salmon. When the white man found out about this
treasure, he came for it. 'us Bering, a Dane in the em-
plo2fh Russians, came among the first, exploring and
mapping and writing and claiming the land for Catherine
the Great; he died adrift on a ship without masts or
helmsman, sixty years old, wasted with scurvy, but not
until he had let the Russians know that he had found for
them "a rich, empty land." After him, a deluge of adven-
turers ready to fight the emptiness for the sake of the
wealth.
History calls them the Promyshleniki; many of them
were ex-convicts, all of them were grade A commercial
Cossacks who stopped at nothing. At Attu in the Aleu-
tians they enslaved a gentle, kindly Indian called the
Aleut in a system of man-killing otter hunting that all
but wiped out both Aleut and otter. They worked on the
proposition that God was on high and the Czar far away;
they were so ruthless that the Czar had to step in, disen-
franchise them, and give exclusive rights to a new
Russian-American Company that he instructed not only




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


to hunt the otter but to "promote discovery, commerce,
and agriculture and the propagation of the Greek Catho-
lic faith." From then (1799) to 1865, the company ruled
Alaska, and the greatest of the rulers was an ex-drygoods
salesman from Siberia. Enter Alexander Baranov!
Barang_ \ :as lord of Alaska for twenty years; he was a
lion of a man with an insatiable ambition. The Czar's
orders to promote the gentler arts and to propagate the
faith didn't impress him too much; his object in life was
pelts and power, not charity and souls. He did, however,
bring in Orthodox priests and he did build churches.
Father Veniaminof went to work among the Aleuts,
learned their language and tried to teach them his, put
the Scripture in their tongue, and brought many of them
into his church. Baranov supported him on Sunday.
The rest of the week he drove the Aleuts down the trail of
the otter. When the otter became scarce in the Aleutians,
he moved his headquarters to Sitka, where he tried to
drive an Indian of different mettle; the Tlingits were
slightly prejudiced against the Russians. They made
surly slaves, and once they burned down Baranov's
stockade and killed some of his men. But Baranov flour-
ished, nevertheless; he built a big wooden castle on the
hill, from which he was lord of all he surveyed. He signed
a trade agreement, one day, with a shrewd fur hunter
named Astor -John Jacob Astor. He welcomed the
officers and crew of occasional Yankee whalers who hap-
pened his way. He sent his ships across the Pacific, to
Honolulu and California, where he established a colony
to strengthen Russia's (and Baranov's) hold on America.
He overreached himself, went too far. Disaster overtook




ALASKA


him; he lost ships at sea, the King of Hawaii refused to
sign a trade agreement with his men, the California
colony was broken up and the site sold to a man named
John Sutter; on Sutter's land, near his mill, gold was
discovered later. Complaints about Baranov reached the
Czar; Baranov was dismissed, left his castle and died -
of all places! aboard a ship in the Indian Ocean. With
him died Russia-in-America.
After Baranov, the bunglers. Thirteen Russian gov-
ernors came and went, and all of them together were not
worth one Baranov. Not one of them could halt the dis-
integration of Russia-in-America. Their colony soon
begancosti he Czar moneyLtsupport. The Czar
worried over that; he also worried over the British, who
had just beaten him in the Crimean War and who he
knew would beat him again, if the chance came. Eyeing
Alaska, he knew he could never protect it against the.
British. So he sold it. Sold it to the United States of
America, through Secretary of State Seward, for a paltry
$7,200,000, which came to about two cents an acre.
Sad knewwhat he was dog, but the country
didn't. The American public howled. They raged at be-
ing "sold out"; the newspapers had their greatest boom
in years. They called it "Walrussia," "Seward's Ice-
box," "Seward's Folly." Screamed one editor, "Anyone
knows that ninety-nine one-hundredths of the territory is
absolutely worthless."
Of course, the editor did not know the worth of the
gold hidden beneath the soil of Alaska; nor the wealth
that swam with the salmn, so thick in the rivers that you
could not see the river bottoms; nor that the American




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


seal hunters off the Pribilof Islands were soon to be pay-
ing annually more than 4 per cent of the purchase price
of the whole territory, nor that one day Alaska would be
our bumper against an attack rolling up from Japan!
So we took Alaska the name is a corruption of the
Aleut word al-ak-shak, meaning "the great country."
Seven months after the purchase, a select unit of American
troops went ashore at Sitka, stood at attention as the
Russian flag was run down and the Stars and Stripes run
up. Watching from the old castle on the hill was the
Baroness Matsoutov, half-caste daughter of old Baranov.
(You can still see her grave, in the little Russian cemetery
in Sitka.) The Yankees ran up their flag, and then ran
wild; those first troops believed with Kipling that
"there's never a law of God or man runs north of 53."
On the heels h oops came the most disgraceful
(forde of thieves, gamblers, harlots, hoodlums, gunmen,
Ssaloon-keepers, smugglers, and murderers ever protected
by the American flag. They spread a horror over the
land that made the Russians blush; they stole, cheated,
outraged, gambled, drank, and killed. One of their mobs
broke into the Orthodox Church and stole everything in
sight, even the covers off the old ornamented Bible.
Withnsi months venre disease was araging fire.
From 1867 to 1897, as one writer puts it, "Alaska was a
country where no man could make a legal will, own a
homestead or transfer it, or so much as cut wood for his
fire without defying a Congressional prohibition; where
polygamy and slavery and witches prevailed, with no
legal authority to stay or punish criminals." The natives
fled; the Russians cowered behind locked doors.




ALASKA


They we thirty years of disra lin or Ameri-
can adventurers, but as time wore on the sun broke
through the clouds. The worst of the Yankee riffraff left.
The Army was officially recalled in 1877. The mission-
aries began to come in. They had been a long time com-
ing, since Father Veniaminof died. The old priest had
done his best. The first Americans marveled at the church
he had built at Sitka, at the rich vestments and icons (the
gift of Baranov), the wrought iron clock by which he told
time, and the bells in the old tower with which he called
the faithful to prayer.
Veniaminof did not win very many converts; one
authority says that he worked for twenty years and con-
verted fewer than twenty Tlingits. Neither did his Ortho-
dox Church do very much for the health or morals of this
people; when the Americans came, they found living
conditions that were deplorably low. They found a hand-
ful of Christian Indians here and there, who had been
converted by an Anglican, William Duncan, working
across the line in Canada. An army private at Fort
Wrangell was so concerned about it that he wrote a long
letter to General Howard, his military commander,
begging that something be done for these natives, that a
missionary be sent, right away, to help the natives help
themselves. History even missionary history tends
to forget Private S. Bwn. and that is toobad. For
Brown started something. His letter fell into the hands of
heldon Jackson, and in a matter of weeks Jackson had
started or ATas-ka.
There walked a greater man than Baranov! Jackson
was a spiritual Cecil Rhodes, a diminutive kingdom




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


builder who came to claim a great land and a great peo-
ple for Jesus Christ. He had been building a string of
Presbyterian churches all across the Rocky Mountain
country and the Pacific Northwest when Private Brown's
letter fell into his hands, so he was used to hardship. At
Fort Wrangell he found a little school being held together
by one of Duncan's converts. That school was his divine
hint. It was schools, sc ools schools with him, till he
died. Far-visioned was Sheldon JacksonTie saw clearly
that if the Eskimo and the Alaskan Indian were to be
lifted up to a more abundant living, there must be intel-
ligence fr the id as well as salvation for the soul.
He ran immediately into the same sort of white man
opposition that the first Hawaiian missionaries met; he
washreatened, heckled, badgered, persecuted, and even
jailed by men who had come to Alaska only to exploit
the native and get back home as soon as possible with
their spoil. He was even told by one minister in the
United States that he was wasting his time, that "even if
all the people in Alaska were made Christian, they would
not be worth one live Christian in Arizona, New Mexico,
Utah, or Idaho!" The newspapers and the lobbyists in
Washington hated him and fought him. They might as
well have thrown pebbles at Gibraltar.
Tireless, he crossed mountains, crawled over glaciers,
slept in the snow and on dog sleds and in hollow logs, hunt-
ing out isolated villages and settlements and giving them
schools. Congress finally convinced of the- worth of
Sheldon Jacson, made him Commissioner of Education
f Alaka and gave him government cutters to sail
around his "parish." He built an Industrial School for




ALASKA


Boys at Sitka. At Kodiak, a village of log houses, he left
a tiny school that one mother and two of her daughters
traveled eighty miles to attend. At Afognak Island he
put 140 children and their parents in one school; at
Karluk, 118 children. At Unga, 24. At Texikan, 184.
He also made a trip now and then to the TTnited States,
talking in churches, talking in private homes, talking to
anyone who would listen, talking about Alaska and the
need for schools and schoolteachers and ministers and
people who would help. Hcnw a great recruiter. He
could talk about a common weed and make you wish
you had a weed like that in your front yard. He could
talk of loneliness and cold and pioneering in Alaska and
make men and women turn their backs on the comforts
of civilization and go off into "the great white silence,"
teaching in schoolhouses that were shacks, burying them-
selves in isolated outposts where they hardly ever saw a
white face and got their mail once a year.
He commuted to Washingon hounding Congress,
buttonholing congressmen, inviting them to listen to his
lectures, shoving articles he had written under their
noses, following them on the streets and into their offices.
Some liked him and some hated him. Enough liked him
to present bills he suggested, and on Jul 8, 880, h
wrote in his diary, "Secured the passage of a resolution
r schools n Alask which meant that the Federal
government had taken over the schools. Five years later
Congress voted him twenty-five thousand dollars to build
more schools and maintain the old ones, appointed him
United States Commissioner of Education for Alaska and
gave him free passage on a revenue cutter. With the




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


cutter Bear he ranged all the way from Nome to Point
Barrow, which is the farthest north mission station in the
world. He built schools and churches, broke his way
through ice to relieve whites and natives ra ped by
famine, rescueshipwrecked sailors a on-man army
of the Lord against ignorance, suffering, despair, and
sud[ deneah.
He saw the whaling fleets of the Yankees drive the
whale north to the pole. He saw the walrus decimated
almost to the vanishing point, the sea lion and the salmon
and the big game animals slaughtered recklessly by men
who didn't care whether the natives who lived on the
flesh of these fish and animals ate or died. The natives
were dying, fast; a trader in one village told Jackson that
the death rate in his area had become fifteen times the
birth rate. Jackson took it all in and made a most unusual
suggestion: whynot kethe Eskimos self-supporting
and sure of food by giving them herds of tamed reindeer
- reindeer imported from Siberia? The white profiteers
howled. This was like suggesting socialism to Andrew
Carnegie. W~ ed f savages whowere better off
dead, anyay? Why didn't the missionary mind his own
business? He was interfering all along the line with men
who were making fortunes out of the ignorant Indian and
Eskimo. Was Sheldon Jackson going to make a lot of
money out of this reindeer idea?
His enemies got to Congress, and Congress refused to
appropriate money for such a wild scheme. Undisturbed,
Jackonr d two thousanddoarsamonhis own
friends, covered fifteen hundred miles of Sibera and
brought back sixteen reindeer, male and female. A year




ALASKA


later a somewhat shamed Congress helped him get some
more. As the herds increased, the native death rate went
down and the Eskimo smiled. Then the white capitalists
saw profit in the reindeer business, tried to get it away
from the Eskimo. It didn't work. Jackson went to work
on the President the Cabinet and Congress, and laid the
groundwork for a law that put reindeer raising forever in
the hands of the Jackson was dead by the time
t at aw was passed, but in his missionary's Valhalla, he
must have said, "Amen!"
He built the first sawmill in the territory a mission
sawmill. He taught the natives to build their own in-
dividual homes. Most of the schools he built and their
name was legion were built with money he raised
from Presbyterian churches and the government. The
first reindeer money he raised in Presbyterian churches.
It was Jackson brouaw government
to the territory. We find a notation in his diary, under
date of May 17, 1884: "The President signed the bill for
government in Alaska." The act he referred to meant
that Congress had adopted the laws of the state of
Oregon for Alaska; it provided for a governor appointed
by the president, for a judge, a district attorney, a mar-
shal, and four deputies.
He was a man "forever on the edge of things," forever
looking ahead. He was no orator, no brilliant writer, but
his concepts were bold and broad and he had the courage
to fight for them. That was especially true of his religious
faith. He was a Presbyterian, but he was also a happy
warrior for interdenominational cooperation long before
most contemporary Christians knew what those words




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


really meant. He knew that no one denomination could
ever do for Alaska what had to be done. So he filled his
pockets with maps and pictures and figures and plans,
came down to New York City, called a conference of
Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Episcopalian
leaders, and went to work on them. When he was through,
they were as interdenominational as he was. They drew
long lines across the ma of Alaska, allotting territory.
The Episcopalians took over the territory of the Yukon
and northward. The Methodists said they wouldwork in
the Shumagin and AleianIslands and on the Alaska
Peninsula. The Baptists were to send men to Cook Island
and Prince William Sound, and the Presbyterians were to
enlarge their work in Southeastern Alaska, where they
were already settled. It was from the churches represented
at this conference that Jackson recruited the teachers for
his icebound schools. He didn't care much what church
they went to, so long as they went to Alaska.
Inspired by Jackson and the new missionary interest,
other church groups filtered in. Even before the New
York conference, Jackson d talk with thMoravians,
who had some few missionaries in Greenland and Labra-
dor; he got them to take over the territory along the
Kuskokium River. Then came the Norwegians, the
Swedish Evanelical Church, the Friends. Heroes and
heroines began to write their names in the brilliant mis-
sionary history of the day. Mrs. McFarland took her life
in her hands working against the witch doctors and
shamans, saving native girls from death and torture as
witches. S. Hall Young, a young stripling just out of
seminary, went over the land in dog sled and canoe, ex-




ALASKA


ploring, writing, teaching the natives to speak and write
English, giving them grammars and Testaments in their
own language. W. R Corliesa Baptist, buried himself in
the icy wastes with one year's training in a medical
school as his main equipment, and did for the sick of
Alaska what Grenfell did for the sick of Labrador.
Two Episcopalians went in early. Archdeacon Hud-
son Stuck (Archbishop of the Yukon) covered fifteen
thousand miles by dog sled in the interior of Alaska,
prowling about for the Lord for eight long years in
country that equally brave men shunned like the plague,
bringing the good news to isolated igloos and tiny villages.
After him came the beloved Bishop Peter Trimble Rowe,
a man built to order for the stormy clime, building his
own boat when others failed him, dog sledding and
snowshoeing into the most impossible places he could
find, laying the foundations for the strong work now
being done by the Protestant Episcopal Church in the
interior. Bishop Rowe is worthy of a best seller all by
himself.
The Reverend John G. Brady served as the first col-
lector of customs at Juneau, and later was governor of
the territory. Moravian William Hamilton was appointed
first assistant general agent of education. The Congrega-
tional missionary teacher W. T. Lopp and T. L. Bregiv
of the Norwegian Lutheran Mission had charge of the
reindeer station at Teller; Lopp later was superintendent
of education. Dana Thomas of the Friends served as
postmaster at Kotzebue and as United States commis-
sioner. Joseph H. Romig of the Moravian mission held
the first mail contract from Bethel to Holy Cross; and an




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


Episcopalian, Jules L. Prevost, published the first news-
paper in the Yukon Valley. There were others, too many
to be mentioned here. By the end of the century there
were American Protestant and Roman Catholic mis-
sionaries and missionary stations scattered from Metla-
katla to Point Barrow. By 1905 they were infiltrating
deep into the interior, building churches, schools, hos-
pitals, homes; they were ministers, doctors, explorers,
teachers. Sheldon Jackson looked at it and called it good
---------------
and died in 1jQgo
There was another infiltration toward the close of the
century that was decidedly not missionary: the years of
comparative quiet and progress were shattered when a
man named Henderson picked up a handful of gold on
Bonanza Creek. That started the famous gold rush.
Wealth-hungry Americans living in the United States
heard fantastic stories about Yukon gold. Men were
"borrowing five-gallon cans and filling them in a matter
of minutes, up there," and there was plenty more, for
everybody. The Seattle newspapers ran a story about a
ton of gold that was to arrive shortly in the hold of the
steamer Portland. That did it! Into Alaska poured ship-
load after shipload of madmen, on their way to the
Yukon and the Klondike which, lest we forget it, was
in Canada. You reached the Kndike via Alaska.
Young armies of prospectors rushed wildly inland,
knowing little or nothing of what lay ahead of them, of
the mountains and the raging rivers they had to cross
before they could even see the gold fields. They crawled
single file up and over fearful Chilkoot Pass, where the
thermometer registered forty-five degrees below, where




ALASKA


men fell out of line exhausted and died in the snow. They
froze their hands and feet, fought and killed one another,
panned the gravel feverishly. Some few struck it rich;
most of them failed. Some made fortunes and lost them
in saloons and dance halls before they could get out of
the country.
Just as the Klondike affair began to quiet down, gold
was discovered on the beach at Nome, and another rush
was on. Men, women, and children crowded the ships
from Seattle, paying $125 for passage, $40 a ton for
freight. Thousands of them crowded the little beach,
sleeping in the open on wet sand, trying to guard moun-
tains of freight and gear, looking for gold that had long
since been found. There were ten thousand of them there
at one time, not one of them with a ghost of a chance of
striking it rich. Some went inland, where they were told
(by the shipping companies) that there was gold under
the frozen tundra. There was gold there, but you had to
get through the frozen tundra to get at it. You had to
build a fire to thaw it out, and coal for those fires was
priced (by the shipping companies) at $150 a ton.
Scurvy broke out, and typhoid. Government cutters were
loaned to bring back the hordes of the sick and the dis-
illusioned.
Some made names for themselves, even though they
failed to find the precious yellow metal. There was Tex
Rickard and Alexander Pantages, and a bank clerk in
Nome who never prospected but who wrote The Spell of
the rukon and The Shooting of Dan McGrew. And Jack
London, who hated the country. And Jack Holt and
Joaquin Miller. They produced a thrilling and flam-




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


boyant and misleading literature dealing with an era of
professional myth and murderous greed that wrought no
good whatever to Alaska.
After the helter-skelter of the gold rushes came slower
and more scientific exploiters who did a more thorough
job of draining off the riches of the country. Placer
mining began; dredging machines took the place of the
prospector's pan. Big-scae fishrn i anteries and
fleets of ships; they kied off the salmon suruslthat
the Unit tatesGovernment had to step in with regu-
.lat la. Congress offered subsidies to railroad build-
ers, and steel trails began to lengthen across the terri-
tory. Congress also helped industrialists in other fields,
perhaps too much. It was President Harding who turned
back the exploiters with a public announcement that
"We must regard life in lovely, wonderful Alaska as an
end and not a means, and reject the possibility of looting
Alaska as the possibility of profit arises."
Harding signaled the end of heartless exploitation in
the territory, which by the time he died had passed
through eras of isolation, absentee industrial control,
bungling governmental policy, and conservation. Men
now began going in to stay, to live there, to help the
country develop. The territory got a legislature, which
as its first act passed a bill granting woman suffrage -
seven years before we passed suh alawfii t e whole
nation a ashington! They also put through en-
lightened social, labor, and conservation legislation. Thus
protected, the native population stopped dying and
showed an increase of three thousand in a single decade.
Industries were locally controlled. Fur trapping became




ALASKA


fur farming. The postal system was improved. Daily
papers and magazines increased in number and quality.
Airplanes began to come regularly. Thirty-five thousand
tourists came every summer. Then, with a sickening
blow, World War II struck Alaska.
There were just three hundred soldiers in Alaska to
meet the Japanese thrust at Dutch Harbor, plus a Navy
that hadn't even bothered to chart the waters of the
Aleutians. That meant an all-out effort to protect a land
we had almost forgotten; Seward's Icebox was suddenly
more important to us than New York or Chicago. Troops
came in; airbases were rushed to completion. And the
Alcan Highway now called simply the Alaskan High-
way began to leap across Alaska from the Canadian
border. Within ninety days after Pearl Harbor, army
engineers were crashing through dense forests, boring
under mountains, working ten hours a day seven days a
week, fighting sub-zero cold, swamps, rivers, ice, mos-
quitoes, loneliness, and an occasional inquisitive bear.
Thousands of men and millions of dollars were poured
into the highway and into military installations along its
edges. We spent as much on one airport as we had paid
for the whole territory. Alaska had seen nothing like it
since the gold rush. The Alcan is still crawling toward
Fairbanks.
As swiftly as it came, the war shifted from Alaska to
warmer Pacific waters. While the territory suffered as
much as any other American possession in the duration,
it recovered quickly. Peace came, and the vast armies of
soldiers and construction men went away. Alaska took
account of her people and her chances in a postwar




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


world. She noted that transportation, thanks to wartime
aerial developments, was tremendously improved. An
Alaskan now could talk by radio-phone to a man in
Seattle for $4.50 for three minutes, to New York for
$8.50; communication was revltnzed. And the gov-
ernment would help you establish yourself on a home-
stead, help you get started farming. Farmigolonies
like the one in the Matanuska Valley got under way. A
big migration from the United States began again; many
rushed in who should never have come, and rushed out
again. But enough stayed to make Alaska understand
that he nc isolation her grab-it-all-and-run days,
were about over. Mining, fishing, forestry, agriculture
offered a thousand new opportunities per square mile
and threw open new doors of opportunity for men and
women strong enough to fight this strong country.
Today, Alaska is still the "rich, empty land" of Vitus
Bering. There are only eight places in the whole territory
with a population of i,ooo or more, only 34 with 300 or
more. There are, roughly, 40,000 Indians and Eskimos
(this figure includes those of mixed blood) and 40,000
whites, living in a total of 586,400 square miles. Most of
the white population came in from the United States;
your average Alaskan is a hail-fellow-well-met Westerner.
In 1940 men outnumbered women two to one; less than
half the white males were married. This Alaskan white is
even more friendly than his brother in Oregon or Wash-
ington or California; he seldom locks his cabin door. He
leaves food on the shelf and kindling in the stove for the
man traveling through, and a sign over the sink that
says, "Help yourself, but leave it clean."




ALASKA


They live up there very much as we live here. Juneau
is in the same latitude as Stockholm; Butte is just as
as Point Barrow. If you want to live in Alaska, you can
choose between the southern coast, where there are cool
summers, warm winters, much rain; or the interior,
where there are long, cold winters, short, warm summers,
and light rains; or the Arctic zone, with long, long, cold
winters, short summers, and very little rain. You can
have your home in a broad green valley or along a jagged
coast like Norway's; you can have sandy beaches, moun-
tains or plains, or rolling hills, tundra, forest or swamp,
good land covered with grass or fields of ice, torrential
rivers or slow streams, lakes, glaciers, meadows filled
with flowers or miles of snow. You'll find comfortable
homes, most of them small. There are movies, outdoor
sports, newspapers and magazines, schools and churches
- but not enough of them as yet. And automobiles -
four thousand automobiles, or one for every eighteen
people. It is a land of small communities, with not too
much travel between them.
There are of course certain difficulties and hindrances
to be faced. First of all, there are still too many transients
among the people of Alaska, in spite of all that has been
done to encourage the permanent settler. Someone re-
cently remarked that the length of residence of the aver-
age white man was just three weeks. He said that with
his tongue in his cheek, but it is still true that some fifteen
thousand to twenty thousand workers rush in for sea-
sonal, six-months work in the fishing and mining indus-
tries, and rush right out again when it's over. Population
statistics for Alaska are notoriously unreliable; it all de-




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


pends upon the season in which you gather the statistics!
Like the hibernating bear, the economy of Alaska seems
to sleep through the winter and come alive in the sum-
mer. With the possible exception of fishing and hunting,
work in the territory is crowded into the short summer
months. More than half the workers in the salmon indus-
try are non-residents, and while they make as high as
two hundred dollars a week while they're there, it doesn't
mean much for Alaska. Most of them live in company
houses and eat company meals. Thousands of them col-
lect no pay at all while in Alaska. Half the wages paid in
salmon are paid outside Alaska!
WhatAlaska alsaneeds economicallyiaa wider-spread
of taxes. There are no personal or corporate taxes in this
least taxed of all American territories, no cigarette tax or
general property tax. There is a tax on sales to provide
a bonus for veterans, and there is a compulsory tax of
five dollars per year for the support of the schools, which
of course does not support the schools. The big industries
carry too much of the tax burden; the salmon industry
was paying about 32 per cent of the total tax load in the
prewar era; mining paid 24 per cent, the liquor traffic
9 per cent. It is the most ridiculous tax system to be
found anywhere under the Stars and Stripes.
Despite the seeming disadvantage to leading indus-
trialists of the tax system, they do not want it changed.
It has helped them to maintain their position of control
over the territory. The big industries for years have
dominated the territorial Legislature, and the Legisla-
ture has refused or failed to provide Alaska with the
services and advantages, purchasable with tax money,




ALASKA


that would help establish a really stable population and
civilization. There are signs that this situation will be
changed. It should be.
What the country also needs, economically, is the de-
velopment of an all-year-round industry. There is too
much dependence on seasonal work an- income. George
Sundborg, in Opportunity in Alaska, describes brilliantly
the vicious cycle that plagues Alaska: "Underpopulation
over a large area leads to excessively high transportation
costs; high transportation costs result in a high cost of
living; high living costs result in high costs of production;
high costs of production make most industries unprofit-
able; lack of industrial development results in seasonal
unemployment; high living costs and seasonal unem-
ployment discourage immigration and encourage emi-
gration; all of which results in underpopulation!" Add
to that, the lack of a cheap transportation system to
bring costs of living down and to give Alaskan goods
outlets to better markets, and you have the real reasons
for Alaska's economic chaos.
What the countryneedsi caly is a chance to run
her own show, her own life. The tax system is easy on the
individual pocketbook, hard on social and economic
development. Political ernalis rected from Wash-
ington, is a cancer in Alaskan life. The people up there
cannot vote on national candidates or questions of na-
tional importance; their governor is appointed from
Washington and the courts are a federal responsibility.
There are no senators or congressmen from Alaska in
the national capital only a delegate, who can sit and
speak but never vote. It is so cheap a system that too




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


many Alaskans have become lukewarm toward state-
hood, which would force them to pay the bills. It's
cheaper to let Washington pay!
The Federal government is doing its best to maintain
schools that will meet the needs of a shifting native popu-
lation that speaks eighteen different dialects. The so-
called Federal schools, for nativechildrenare maintained
by the United States Department of the Interior; except
for two small high school they are limited to elemen-
ta grades. The territorial government, however, pro-
vides a wider span of elementary, secondary, and college
education for whites and for those natives who attempt
to follow the white man's way of living. It is a system of
education with a great gap between white and native
groups, but that gap, let it be said here, is being closed
as rapidly as possible.
Heal resents peculiar problems. There are fairly
low death rates in the "civilized" diseases, in everything
but uberculsis which kills at a fearful rate. A recent
survey of the children of Alaska showed that_35 per cent
of them from 5 to 15 were definitely tubercular; another
survey, taken in Nome, showed that 80 per cent of the
children were positive. Alaska has proqortionate
times as many victims of t.b. as he_States. There are
good reasons for it: food deficiencies, lack of sunlight,
and (among the natives) living conditions under which
eight to ten people sleep in one or two rooms, with an
active t.b. case in the midst. No wonder both missionaries
and government men are crying, "More hospitals!"
As bad for general and individualTealth as tuberculo-
sis is liquor. One need not be a prohibitionist to be




ALASKA


ashamed of American liquor in Alaska. The record shows
that Alaska consumes $ 5 worth of liquor per week per
person. Dr. E. Stanley Jones, in 1945, discovered that
Fairbanks had 43 liquor shops for 6,000 people, Anchor-
age had 63 for 12,000, Juneau 57 for 7,500, and Ketchi-
kan 42 for 6,000. Even the taxicabs carry it and sell it,
under local or Federal license; if a driver can't get one
license, he gets the other! The drinking is done for two
reasons: for the escape it offers from the long boredom
of the dark seasons, or because of the lack of recreational
facilities. Missionaries in Alaska call liquor their number
one problem. They are fighting the liquor evil, but are
handicapped by the fact that many of the big liquor
men are laymen in their churches.
Perhaps the missionaries and the preachers should be
the most discouraged on the face of the earth. They are
not. They are, liquor and t.b. and zero weather and all
the rest of it to the contrary, the happiest group of
people in any missionary field. Many of them are living
the lives of pioneer frontier evangelists. The Reverend
William J. Gordon, Protestant Episcopalian at Point
Hope, wrote home recently:

In the past three months I have traveled more than fifteen
hundred miles with my dogs in the Arctic from Kotzebue
to Point Barrow. When you make but three miles an hour,
that takes a lot of time. There are more than three hundred
members of the (Protestant Episcopal) Church scattered
over the Arctic, away from Point Hope, and to visit them
with the ministrations of the gospel twice a year or more
calls for time and travel. One 730 mile trip took exactly
five weeks. I had a fine visit at Point Lay, spending five and




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


a half days with our people. I stayed six days at Wainwright,
holding two services for the Presbyterians. At Point Barrow,
I stayed with the newly arrived Presbyterian missionaries,
and preached to their congregation of more than four
hundred Eskimos.
All the way home, for six days, there was a strong north-
east wind blowing, sometimes up to fifty miles an hour, but
I was traveling before it. All I needed was a sail. My tent
blew down one night while I was in my sleeping bag,
causing a little inconvenience (!) and I'm still digging snow
out of my things.

This is the same pioneer labor that was performed by
the famous Episcopalian Bishop Peter Trimble Rowe,
who began his Alaskan work in 1905. Gradually he ex-
tended his service to whites and natives until it covered
the field from the Panhandle to Point Hope. Following
him came the equally famous and beloved Archdeacon
Hudson Stuck, who organized scattered missions in the
interior.
A quick glance at the map of Alaska will convince you
that some missionaries must do a lot of dog sledding to
get around their parishes. Protestant churches are scat-
tered all over the land, from Metlakatla to Point Barrow
- scattered not only along the coast but inland. Fishing
villages, native villages far up the rivers and hidden back
of the mountains, have been hunted out by the mission-
ary preacher, doctor, nurse, and schoolteacher. Many
a veteran trapper who has not seen the inside 6f a church
in years has come to call the missionary his friend, and
welcome him to his cabin. The missionary has a reputa-
tion for friendship that ripens into love. Methodist Ernest




ALASKA


Fradenburg went to the fishing village of Seldovia (popu-
lation, four hundred) in 1944, preached and prayed and
worked on the docks while his wife taught school. When
he became so hopelessly crippled that he could no longer
go his rounds, the townsfolk came to him; they came to
the parsonage to hear him preach. Children carried him
out to watch them skate; they wrapped his feet in grass
so they wouldn't get cold, and they stole his crutches so
they could carry him home.
Missionary doctors areno n snwsh king, dog sled-
ding or sailing into the back reaches of the country, serv-
ing whoever needs them, and not thinking to ask, "What
church do you belong to?" Missionary nurses are fight-
ing blizzards, cold, tuberculosis, and despair. Missionary
boats move up and down the coast; missionary airplanes
fly overhead. Unsung and unhonored, they are weaken-
ing the grip of ancient native taboo, teaching and heal-
ing and inspiring. Thanks to them, Eskimos and Indians
have learned to exchange their goods for money, instead
of barter. Teaching English, they have given natives who
cannot attend government schools the key to new hori-
zons and opportunity.
Long before the Federal Departments of Education
and Indian Affairs came in, the missionaries were doing
their best to help the native aged, the sick, and the or-
phaned. In addition to the regular missionary business
of planting churches and saving the spiritually lost, there
is an all out attack on disease and ignorance. Perhaps the
most romantic effort home missions is making here is
the effort to establish schools, homes, and hospitals.
Mission schools and homes often go together. The




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


Methodist Jesse Lee Home at Seward is typical. Sitting
on a hill overlooking the lakes that serve as nature's mir-
ror for the mountains of Resurrection Bay, Jesse Lee has
facilities for 115 Eskimo, Aleut, and other native chil-
dren. It has four houses scattered over I50 acres, on
which Young Alaska is being taught to farm. Boys here
also learn printing, woodcraft, mechanics, shoemaking;
girls study domestic science and the art of making a
house into a home. One youngster came there twenty
years ago, after spending his life up to that point fishing
and chasing whales. He was a bright one, and he loved
to sit down at the wheezy old organ (salvaged from a
wrecked ship) and pick out tunes he heard others play.
Aware quickly that they had a prodigy in their midst,
the teachers of Jesse Lee took Nutchuk in hand, gave him
music lessons and a faith in himself and his God. Today
he is Simeon Oliver of the American concert stage. An-
other boy at the home came at the age of four, when his
parents died, and it was the only home he could remem-
ber. He was Benny Benson, the boy who at fifteen de-
signed the flag of Alaska that pictures the stars of the
Big Dipper. Many another youngster found refuge there,
too, and felt the kiss of Mother Newhall on his check as
he fell asleep at night. What might have happened to
them had it not been for Jesse Lee?
The Sitka Training School for boys was opened by the
Presbyterians in 1880; four years later came Sheldon
Jackson, to leave the impress of his personality on the
whole structure of Alaskan education, and to leave his
name on the school at Sitka. Today it is the Sheldon
Jackson School the only accredited high school for




ALASKA


natives under religious auspices in the territory, and the
only junior college for natives. For years, the students
were exclusively Eskimos and Indians; lately, as courses
in higher education have been added, whites have been
enrolling. All Alaska knows these students, not only for
what they are in school but, which is more important, for
what they are after they graduate and filter back into the
life of the land.
So clever were the boys of Sheldon Jackson in the art
of shipbuilding that the Navy, during the war, ordered
several craft built at the school. In 1937 they built the
good boat SJS (Sheldon Jackson School), sent it sailing
with cargoes of delegates to religious gatherings, on log-
ging missions, and on fishing trips. In only one season,
the boys and girls of the school, with the help of SJS,
supplied the school with 348 cases of salmon and $i,ooo
in cash. Trained in the arts of practical living, they are in
demand even before they graduate as top-flight car-
penters, electricians, plumbers, and Diesel engine experts.
But it is what they do socially and spiritually that
makes them important. One group, still in school, made
a devastating survey and report on the effects of liquor
on the individual and on society with the result that
liquor became an outlaw in scores of native, Christian
homes. They scatter out individually as ministers, lay
Christian workers, nurses, teachers, and craftsmen in a
dozen trades. They are organized as undergraduates and
alumni into an Alaskan Native Brotherhood and an
Alaskan Native Sisterhood. No two organizations in
Alaska mean more than these. They speak with a startling
liankness and courage against those forces that under-




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


mine and destroy Christian character. Their attack on
the subversive influences of liquor and general immoral-
ity is one of the great bright spots in the whole territorial
picture. They have the sting of Scriptural salt when they
speak thus. On the positive side, they sponsor meetings
of Christian youth, new native churches, vacation Bible
schools, and summer conferences. In the youth sector,
the Brotherhood and Sisterhood are the leaven in the
Alaskan lump; what they are doing probably means more
than what the government is doing, at least insofar as
the native is concerned.
Hospitals are even more desperately needed than
schools or homes, and much missionary effort is go-
ing into their construction and maintenance. Method-
ists, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians have good hos-
pitals here, and a day in any one of them is a day in
frontier, pioneering adventure. The Seward General
Hospital (Methodist) takes in patients who travel great
distances to get there: inland ranchers, trappers, fisher-
men, miners, sailors. The first boy born in the hospital
was the son of parents living in Ungu, miles away! Alex-
ary Unoyak, chief of an Aleut tribe, came all the way from
Kodiak Island; a huge Kodiak bear had embraced him,
clawing his chest into a mass of bloody tissue and break-
ing three ribs and his collar bone. Fourteen cases of
scarlet fever came in from Matanuska. Two hundred
tuberculosis cases are being treated in the tuberculosis
hospital adjoining the General Hospital.
To the Maynard Columbus Hospital (Methodist) in
Nome, Eskimos come by plane, dog sled, and boat; a lot
of them come for emergency appendix operations. A




ALASKA


rugged old sea captain is brought ashore from a storm-
beaten ship off Point Barrow; he's had a stroke. Frank
Sleepy Joe, Eskimo, is overcome by fumes and badly
burned in his smokehouse; the doctors in the hospital
shake their heads but they save his life. An army trans-
port brings in a 13-year-old Eskimo boy caught with
his parents in a blizzard; both parents die; the boy loses
one arm at Maynard Columbus, but he lives and is
adopted by a Methodist family.
A teacher from Koyuk, an old-timer from Candle with
frozen hands, a ten year old boy dragging a broken leg,
and a six year old with pneumonia; an appendix case
from Malakleet, the matron from the White Mountain
government school, a man from Nome drunk and cut
badly in a fight. These patients have come from all direc-
tions covering distances of from seventy to two hundred
miles. Some of them were brought in by the Search and
Rescue Mission, a non-missionary, Good Samaritan sort
of an organization that works with boat, dog sled, snow-
shoe, and plane. Increasingly the plane is used to transfer
the sick; air travel is forcing an enlargement of hospital
facilities. More and more hospitals are needed. There are
at present four Roman Catholic, two Methodist, and two
Protestant Episcopalian hospitals in Alaska.
Denominational as they are, these mission hospitals do
an interdenominational work. They must, for pain is
peculiar to no sect. Interdenominationalism is not all it
should be in Alaska; many of the ministers of the more
conservative churches oppose it, fearing the influence of
the far-off Federal Council of Churches of Christ in
America a fear quite unnecessary. There are many




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


small sects that are enthusiastic only about their par-
ticular interpretation of the gospel, and their unwilling-
ness to cooperate is one of the great blights on the
religious life of Alaska. But there are trends in the other
direction. As we go to press, the churches in Alaska are
voting on a proposed Alaska Council of Churches. At
Palmer, in the Matanuska Valley, there is a United
Protestant Church (related to the Presbyterian Church
in the U. S. A., but still amazingly interdenominational)
that promises to become one of the strongest in the terri-
tory provided the Matanuska Valley experiment
succeeds. Here, the leader and teacher of the adult Bible
class is the Moravian Dr. Albrecht, Commissioner of
Health for Alaska. With him work Methodists, Baptists,
Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Swedish Luther-
ans, in perfect harmony. They say they never enjoyed
their churches back home as they enjoy this one.
Jnion, at least unity of front among the Protestants,
must come. In Juneau, for a population of about six
thousand, we find two Presbyterian churches and one
each of Methodist, Protestant Episcopal, Lutheran,
Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist, Christian Science,
Church of Christ (Christian), Church of Christ (non-
progressive), Mormon, and Greek Orthodox churches.
Also represented are Baha'i, the Rosicrucians, Juneau
SMission, William Young Mission, Nichols Mission, the
Two-by-Two Mission, the Salvation Army, and the
SRoman Catholic Church! The Home Missions Council
is working to bring about some consolidation. Divided
into so many camps, the churches can accomplish little.
Metlakatla has the best equipped church in all Alaska,




ALASKA


and Metlakatla comes nearer being a union church than
most of them. This is a village on Annette Island, fifteen
miles south of Ketchikan; it is the Shangri-la to which
Dr. William Duncan brought eight hundred Tsimshian
Indians in 1887. He brought them across open water in
open canoes to a wilderness, and with them he built one
of the most amazing cooperative communities in the
history of this land.
They built water systems, a sawmill, a cannery, homes,
schools, and a church. The Indians did all this, with no
outside help whatever. Today, Metlakatla is the cleanest
town in Alaska. It is a self-supporting community with a
modern salmon cannery, an up-to-date hydroelectric
plant that furnishes water to the whole population free of
charge, a well equipped sawmill that thrives on govern-
ment contracts, and the liveliest church in Alaska. There
are good schools, in charge of a Federal officer; there are
comfortable cottage homes, impressive public buildings
- and self government. All industrial life stops on Sun-
day; the tourist is asked to leave before the bells ring for
church. All this is Indian; there is not another tribal vil-
lage in Alaska that has better leadership than we find
here, and nowhere else have the natives so yielded them-
selves up to the influences of Christianity.
We would not leave the impression that Metlakatla is
the only spot in Alaska in which such miracles have been
worked; indeed, the life of the entire native population
has been lifted to a higher plane. When the first Amer-
ican missionaries arrived, they found an old native life
built quite as much on caste as life is built on caste in
India. A man born into the Eagle Clan, in southeastern




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


Alaska, had all the dignity, power, and arrogance of a
Brahmin; one luckless enough to be born into the Frog
Clan accepted his lot as the lowest of the low, and there
wasn't anything he could do about it. That's gone now.
A sense of brotherhood prevails among the natives of
Alaska that puts to shame the discrimination prevailing
in the United States. Eskimo boys are sent to be educated
in the States; they are ordained ministers, artists, busi-
nessmen, teachers, lawyers.
Once there was feasting for the dead, potlaches, a
crushing burden of shamanistic lore and taboo. Now the
younger generation laughs at all that as we laugh at the
horse and buggy. The native hut has given way to the
house. You can tell where the missionary has gone by
following the trail of houses built above ground, where
once there were caves dug underground, by the presence
of clean kitchens and typewriters and pianos and church
altars. As late as 1896, the Alaskan Indian either did not
know or dared not imitate the white man's way of life
and government; in 1948 his Alaskan Native Brother-
hood had a motto that went, "Every Indian educated;
every Indian in business; every Indian voting and able
to give a reason for his vote." Not only Indians and
Eskimos, individually, have suffered this change; whole
villages are well organized and administered; more and
more churches are indigenous churches.
One old man may be typical; asked what his Christian-
ity meant to him, he replied, "You remember when the
waves were so high, a while ago? Some of the natives did
not go to bed that night; they were afraid. I went to bed.
I went to sleep. I know Christ."




ALASKA


It is worthy of note that all the areas reached by the
home missionary and that would include the great
majority of the native people have moved up from the
status of a primitive existence to that of civilized living.
It is no accident but the result of the impact of the church.
Increasingly, there must be more attention paid to the
natives of Alaska, who seem more receptive to the mes-
sage and services of the faith than are the whites, who
come to get rich quick. Indian rights in Alaska have
been and still are outraged, thanks to the influence of
the big business barons on government officers and legis-
lation. The Indians of Alaska are right now fighting in
the courts to collect some eighteen million dollars that is
rightfully theirs. That is what they lost in land values
when the United States took over and refused to recog-
nize Indian land titles. There is a moral obligation here,
however the courts decide on the legal obligation. Co-
operatives have done much for the Alaskan native, sav-
ing him from the profiteering white who still wants to
barter with him, leaving him poor as they wax rich.
Too, the native is the victim of white vice, lust, and
greed. He works hard in white industry, returns to his
village with a drunken hangover and any one of a dozen
venereal diseases. In a country where the per capital cost
of liquor has been estimated at about $450, the effect on
the primitive inhabitant is bound to be disastrous. Joe
E. Brown has called Anchorage "the biggest saloon I
ever saw!" The city of Ketchikan spends $5,ooo,ooo a
year for liquor, and about $130,000 for the education of
its youth. Precious little of that $130,000 goes to help the
native from whom we took the land.




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


There is need of a frontal attack on the part of the
churches upon the evils of Alaskan liquor and prostitu-
tion. Some few ministers and some few churches do at-
tack them, but too many of the preachers hesitate; their
jobs are in jeopardy. The liquor men are prominent in
the churches. One liquor man, denied the right to locate
a saloon within three hundred feet of a church, bought
the church and paid the minister a bonus. A second
liquor man, fighting another who wanted to set up a
saloon near his, is said to have contributed enough
money to build a new church thus keeping his com-
petition out. By and large, both government men and
missionaries are fighting these evils, but they must fight
them with more determination than they have shown to
date. It is no wonder that one mother came to Alaska,
looked it over, and decided to move out within the year;
she could not face the difficulties involved in trying to
bring up her children in such an environment.
This does not mean that no new mothers, no new fam-
ilies, are moving into Alaska. In June of 1947, Time
reported outsider families moving into the country at
the rate of twenty a day. They are moving into colonies,
some of them government sponsored affairs like the
Matanuska Valley Colonization Project, with 130 fam-
ilies, electricity, telephones, canneries, creameries, post
office, garage, beauty and barber shops, a modern hos-
pital, several stores and restaurants, excellent roads, and
a weekly newspaper. Matanuska thrives but only after
a government expenditure of $4,000,000. Thousands of
the newcomers are moving out to more lonely villages
and cabins. Their freight comes in by truck over the




ALASKA


Alaska Highway, or over the creaking but all-important
Alaska Railway.
To the vast new construction jobs sponsored by the
U. S. Government are coming armies of workers. Into
Fairbanks alone, in one woek, flew 2,500 laborers and
skilled workers for Pan American Airways. Since 1940,
the population of Anchorage has leaped from 3,500 to
more than 15,ooo; these people, says Time, are "In-
dians, construction workers, farmers, soldiers, flyers,
women in dungarees and muddy boots, women in mink
coats and platform shoes. ." They spread out inland
and along the coast. From Nome to Point Barrow, there
is bustling military preparation and those who bustle
in certain spots, on a very clear day, can look across
Bering Strait and see Russia. Alaska today has 27 major
airports, 20 big secondary landing strips, 46 weather ob-
servation stations. Alaska-based B-29's fly on routine
missions over the North Pole. At Mile 26 on the Richard-
son is one of the largest super-bomber bases in the world.
No wonder toasts are being drunk all over Alaska:
"Here's to Joe Stalin Alaska's best friend!"
He may be anything but Alaska's best friend. All this
frantic armament may become a millstone around
Alaska's neck, stifling her progress and development,
turning her into a huge frontier fortress. If the fear of war
that today hangs over the whole land like a deep black
cloud is not dissipated, then Alaska as a land of frontier
opportunity will be no more. Much, much depends upon
what happens along the military front.
In thi-midst of this picture, the church must work; to
such a swiftly changing environment, the home mis-




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


sionary must adjust himself. Already he is doing it; the
local minister and missionary cooperate with the army
chaplain; pastors' homes hold open house all week long
for lonely soldiers, sailors, and construction workers from
the States. Tomorrow, the role of church and church-
man will be a vital one: for no matter what the govern-
ment does or does not do, however many millions are
poured into the country to help it expand or to fortify it,
whatever happens to the drive for better roads and better
housing and more playgrounds for the children, it is
still true that all this will never, never give Alaska what
she needs. Man does not live by bread or roads or
houses alone, here or anywhere else. Alaska needs
deepened, quickened religious life, a new emphasis upon
spiritual values as against a material progress. The basic
need is one for more, more, more missionaries, ministers,
and Christian laymen who will rouse in the Alaskan
breast those ideals and passions upon which an enduring,
Christian state can be built, and who will stand for a
deeper appreciation of the things of God and for the
sacredness of the human personality, against the appall-
ing greed and the fear of war that now curse the land.




















The Panama
Canal Zone


FOR centuries, for ages, it
was a country unknown to anyone but the Indians who
roamed and fought over its steaming jungles. Panama
in 1502 was unlocked green swamp. Then intrepid
Columbus reached her shores, christened her with the
scintillating name Castillo del Oro and in due course
returned to Spain with the usual tales of fabulous wealth,
with a fortune in silver, gold, and precious stones. His
crew had so many pearls that the little white pellets were
considered "as common as chaffe." The Genoese signed




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


his reports as he always signed his name: "Christobal
Col6n." Thus it happens that the second largest city in
Panama today is called Col6n; across the street from
Col6n, in the Panama Canal Zone, is Cristobal, a city of
Americans.
There is also the city of Balboa, which serves as head-
quarters for the American officials who govern the zone
and guard the canal. That is as it should be, for Vasco
Nufiez de Balboa means even more to Panama than did
Columbus. It was he who stood on a peak in Darien
(in Southeastern Panama) and looked through the first
European eyes upon the Pacific Ocean. It was he who
named it Panama (plenty of fish). And it was he who
suggested to His Majesty the King of Spain that it might
be well to dig a canal across the forty-mile isthmus, to
link the two oceans and bring quickly home the galleons
of Spain.
Balboa lost his head and was buried in 1517, and he
saw nothing done on his canal. Half a century later
Charles V of Spain ordered a road built through the
jungle all the way from Panama City to Porto Bello.
It was a paved road, and in the twentieth century there
are still the ruins of old stone arched bridges. The re-
lentless growth of the jungle strangled the road, but not
before it had seen a seemingly endless procession of
slaves, conquistadores, cattle, priests of Holy Church,
adventurers, ne'er-do-wells, mules, oxcarts, and lumber-
ing wagons loaded with gold and guns. They called it the
Road of Gold. Along it Balboa carried two ships in
pieces, to reassemble them on the other coast and sail
them to load treasure in Peru. It was one of the most




THE PANAMA CANAL ZONE


amazing exploits in the history of Spanish America.
It was more than two centuries later, in 1776, that
Charles the Great ordered a survey for a canal. The
Spaniards were too slow, or too busy treasure hunting;
in 1831, the pearl slipped through their fingers and
Panama became a part of the Republic of Colombia.
Transisthmian traffic for years was muleback traffic,
tortuously slow through squalid villages and swamps
deadly with yellow fever and malaria. But it was still the
Road of Gold.
Gold brought Columbus here; it brought Pizarro,
Balboa, Sir Francis Drake, and the unspeakable pirate,
Henry Morgan, who burned and looted Porto Bello and
Panama City. Gold brought the hordes of Yankee Forty-
niners, who crossed the isthmus on their way to Cali-
fornia. They crossed under protection of a treaty between
Panama and the United States that assured free passage
for United States citizens and goods, in return for which
Uncle Sam promised to protect the area against "foreign
invasion or civil disorder." Uncle Sam was not asleep.
How many Forty-niners left their whitening bones
along the Road of Gold we shall never know. It went on
until 1855, when a wood-burning locomotive made the
first trip over the tracks of a new Panama Railroad, laid
by the Aspinwall Associates of New York. The Associates
put down a track only forty-five miles long, and it cost
them eight million dollars. But the Panama Railroad was
said to carry more cargo per mile of track than any other
railroad in the world; it earned two million dollars before
it was completed!
Reading of that railroad, men engineers, soldiers,




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


sailors, adventurers, politicians on both sides of the
Atlantic began to talk seriously of a canal. The French
moved first; they manipulated a ninety-nine year con-
cession with the government of Colombia and sent their
engineers and their dredges into the tropics. In charge
was the aging and ailing de Lesseps, who had just dug
another canal from Port Said to Suez. The Aspinwall
Associates sold their railroad to the French for twenty
million dollars.
Perhaps de Lesseps was too old; perhaps the French
were not determined enough, or the jungle was too
determined. The French failed, miserably. Their en-
gineers and their workmen were struck down by the
thousand, by yellow fever and malaria. Extravagance
and corruption from within ate away their strength. The
banks of the ditch they were digging kept sliding down
and filling it up. The Chagres River kept overflowing.
By I902 they had given up, and left their gigantic ma-
chines rusting to death in the sun. They were two hun-
dred sixty million dollars in the red. They sold out to the
United States for forty million dollars. Gleeful President
Theodore Roosevelt asked Congress to start digging the
American Canal, without delay. Teddy was "delighted!"
But not so fast. Panama was still a part of the
Republic of Colombia and Colombia refused to ap-
prove the transfer of the franchise from France to the
United States. The politicians of BogotA said they thought
Colombia was entitled to a share of that forty millions.
It looked like a stalemate until, mysteriously, the hereto-
fore timid little citizens of Panama staged a revolution.
Mysteriously, there appeared three American warships




THE PANAMA CANAL ZONE


off Col6n; they intercepted a Colombian vessel loaded
with troops on their way to put down the little revolu-
tion. Not a shot was fired, but Manuel Avador, leader of
the rebels, cried that "the world is astounded at our
heroism we are free!" There was some rumor to
the effect that the Panama Railroad men were prominent
in this revolution, but it couldn't be proved. Washing-
ton heard of the new Republic of Panama at i :30 on
the morning of November 6, 1903; by one o'clock of the
same day, the Department of State had recognized the
republic. The President recognized it three days later,
saying publicly, "I took the Canal." He was quite right.
And what did he or we get? We got a strip of
land ten miles wide across the isthmus, from Panama City
on the Pacific to Col6n on the Caribbean. We gained the
right to take whatever additional lands or waters we felt
necessary to the business of digging and maintaining a
canal, the right to do whatever sanitation work we felt
necessary in the cities of Col6n and Panama, to intervene
with force in those cities when the peace was disturbed,
if the government of Panama failed to do so. This right
to intervene was limited by a later (1936) treaty, but the
Republic of Panama has remained a shadow of a re-
public with a conditioned independence. Education and
finances are out of her control. She has no army and a
pitifully small navy; keeping the peace consists of main-
taining a police force of one thousand men. The United
States watches her closely; if war were to come her way,
she would be a helpless puppet.
We also acquired a reputation as Yankee imperialists;
This affair laid the foundation for years of fear, hate, and




ON OUR OWN DOORSTEP


resentment on the part of South America. They did not
exactly like our posing as the guardians of all life in Latin
America. Repercussions of that suspicion came thick and
fast during World War II, and it still plagues the well
conceived Good Neighbor Policy between the Americas.
In exchange for the treaty with Panama, we paid her
ten millions in gold, plus an annual rent of $250,000 in
gold. Since 1934, this annuity has been fixed at $430,000
payable in any currency. After considerable debate in
Congress, we paid Colombia $25,000,000 to "remove all
misunderstandings" anent the little revolution in Pana-
ma. Some cynical observers remarked that the opening
of new oil fields in Colombia had something to do with
that.
The digging of the Panama Canal was one of the su-
preme engineering and health achievements of all time.
For ten long years, 39,000 men fought the jungle, excavat-
ing, draining, killing mosquitoes. Where de Lesseps had
failed so miserably, losing 200 out of every I,ooo of his
men to yellow fever and malaria, the Americans suc-
ceeded, losing only 17 out of every I,ooo.

A man went down to Panama,
Where thousands of men had died;
A man stood up in Panama
And the mountains stood aside.

Actually two strong men "stood up in Panama": the
army engineer Goethals, the health officer Gorgas. One
would have failed without the other. Gorgas swept the
swamps of the Canal Zone with mosquito-killing oil; he
paved the streets of Cristobal and Col6n, made sure of




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