Newspaper Page Text
I ' 'I '
rm TUT TTfl TTT TIN TT TTT TT IAN 1L lEli lHd irVJJlLA XL IN PUBLISHED WEEKLY, AT HONOLULU, OAHU, HAWAIIAN ISLANDS. J. J. JARVES, Editor. SATURDAY, JUNE 22, 1844. NEW SERIES, Vol. 1. No. 5. I? 33 IS U g TO A FRIEND: ON THE BIRTH OF HER FIRST CHILD. BY JOHN MEAL. August and palo Mother of Nations ! hail ! The golden link is cast, That bindeth fast The teeming Future to the wondrous Past! Prophets, and Birds, and Kings Tho Immortalities of Earth To the sublimer Things Whose inextinguishable wings, Beyond tho Skies have birth 1 Type of Creative Power Behold thy marri ige-dover! A Woman blossoming ! . . Thyself in flower. Blessed forever ! how, Upon thy consecrated brow, The diadem of Nations glittereth now ! Thou miracle ! to prayer, With thy dishevelled hair, Afloat like sunbeams in the morning air; With piticnt mouth and bashful eyes. Now lifted to the blooming skies In thankfulness and joy; Now wondering in mute surprise, Over thy new-born boy ! But yesterday. Thy spirit lay, As the beclouded sunshine lies In Woman's weeping eyes ( Impregnate with a golden shower Trembling and waiting for the hour Of God's eternal mysteries ! To-day ! Thou leavest thy lowly bed, With the unfruitful dead For yonder skies ! The word of power is spoken ! The seal of death is broken ! The golden link is cast, That bindeth fast, The blooming Future to the buried Past ! LITERARY NOTICE. Remarks upon Coral formations in the Pacific ; with Suggestions as to the Causes of their Absence in the same parallels of latitude on the Coast of South America. By Joseph P. Couthouy. Boston, 1842. (Concluded.) Speaking of the different classes of ravines, he says: " At Ililo, on the Island of Hawaii, there is a very beautiful mini iture ravine of this class, at the cas cade of Waianuenue, ( the water of the rainbow,'1) and there aro errand examples of it in the fills of nr i i w i J wr 1 wamua. anu fianapcpe in me isiana 01 ivtiuui, es- Soci illy in the latter, which pitch down full five hun red feet, into a circular basin about one thousand feet round, hemmed in by walls of alternately col umnar and stratified lava, the only break in which is the nirrow outlet for the stream. If we imagine tho rapids of Like Erie to be a plain, girt with lofty mountains, with the Niijrara Mowing through it, and this latter narrowed below the fills to one -fourth its present width, we shall have a very good idei of the ravine under consideration. Of those simil ir in form, but hiving no stream of water, there is a fine exem plification in the great amphitheatre at the head of . the Nuuanu valley, in Oahu. 1 hey are also to be seen in full perfection, on the north side of the lide of Konahuanui, between the Pali, or precipice of Nuuanu, and Kualoa. His description of the Hanapcpc cascade, we think somewhat exaggerated, as to height and dimensions. Wc have visited it twice, and like Mr. C. were unablo to measure it otherwise than by computation; but ours fulls far below his. In regard to the changes which have occurred here, he writes as fol lows: "At the Hawaiian islands, which are still the scat of volcanic action on a magnificent scale, the elevation has been much greater and its proofs more apparent than perhaps in any other region of Polynesia. The islands of Maui, Molokai, Oahu, and Kauai, abound in such evidences, of which I will specify here only a few of the most striking. "At Oahu on the south side, the whole plain on which the town of Honolulu is situ ated, is an elevated coral reef, extending be tween three and four miles from East to West, and varying from half a mile to a mile in breadth. The landward side of this reef is highest, being, as well as I can remember, about twenty feet above the sea. In certain parts, like that for instance on which the town is built, the reef is covered to a depth of from two to five feet with ashes and fine scoriace ous sand, which were probably ejected from the now long extinct craters of Puawaina, just behind the town, and Leahi about four miles east of it on the coast, chiclly, however, from the former, at whose foot the plain terminates, about a mile from the sea. Below this vol canic sand is sometimes found a stratum of slightly cemented coral sand, containing shells and Echinidcs of species identical with those now living in the vicinity. In other places, as on the plain at the entrance ol the Alanoa valley, between Honolulu und Wai- kiki, the root is entirely bare, with every hol low and gullcy as distinctly defined ns they are on tho present slure reef. A short half mile west of Honolulu and half that distance from the sea, at the mouth of a branch of the Nuuanu valley, a considerable stream Hows through a section of this elevated reef some twenty feet deep. A mile and a half further W est there is a similar section at the mouth of the Kalihi valley. These appear to have been anciently passages in the reel, and show that it is composed of the same genera of co rals (principally Pontes) as constitute the mass of the recent reef. In the district of Ewa, fourteen miles west of Honolulu, on the left bank of Pearl river a few rods from its mouth, there is a bed of oyster shells, twelve I feet in thickness and more than a hundred I yards in length, whose lowest portion is full live leet above the sea. Ihey arc lor the most part entire and in a line state of pre servation, the internal polish yet uncflaccd and not tacky or " happame to the tongue. They bear a very close resemblance to our u. borealis. and it is remarkable that although imbedded with it are found many shells which still inhabit the adjacent coast in great num bers, the Ostrca is apparently an extinct spe cies. It was seen no where else in the Paci fic, neither so far as I could ascertain, is it met with either fossil or recent on any other part of this coast. 'From Waialua on the north-west side of Oahu I received specimens of a very hard and compact breccia of shells and coral, said to be taken from cliffs of the same material twenty feet high, which the description sent with the specimens left me little doubt, were the remains of an ancient cemented coral beach. " On the coasts of Kauai there are frequent elevated beaches. One of these at Kalihiwai, On the north side of the island, three fourths of a mile inland, is composed of a slightly coherent conglomerate of coral and shells raised about lilteen feet. Aged natives dwell ing in the neighborhood, affirmed to me that the sea had retired within their remembrance an eighth of a mile, and that in their youth, old men had told them that they in their boy hood fished in canoes at a spot now full one third of a mile from the sea, which since that period, as they forcibly expressed it, "iia nauia ka lepo tow," literally, had brought forth the new earth. Four or five miles V est of this, the river Hanalci, flowing through a plain of the same name in the district of Va ioli,"f displays on its banks rather more than a quarter of a mile from the sea, the section of an ancient beach about five feet higher than the present one, and composed of mate rials similar to that of Kalihiwai. This line of beach extends from the base of the elevat ed table land forming the eastern boundary of the plain in a westerly direction three miles across to the foot of the lofty ridges of Mamalahoa and Puunauckia its limits on the opposite side; following the curvature of the hills to the south, and sometimes almost skirt ing them at from tho fourth of a mile to a mile from the shore. "From all the evidence I could collect, either by personal observation or inquiry, it is my belief that the sea instead of augment ing the coast, is yearly encroaching upon it and regaining its previous loss by elevation. The surf which rolls in from tho broad open bay of Hanalei, especially during the winter months, with tremendous violence, must oper ate destructively upon a beach shelving into deep water so abruptly as this. " Thero is a short beach a mile and a half perhaps from that of Hanalei, between the river Lumahae and the ridge ofPuunauckia, which during the winter is sometimes three hundred yards wide, and is every summer narrowed to twenty or twenty-live yards, yet no corresponding increase takes place during the latter season in the main beach. Yet it Puawaina is the "Punchbowl hill," and Leahi the "Dia mond Head," of the foreigners. t Waioli signifies the signing" or " the joyful water," and is applied to this region by the Hawaiian, whose names are always noi je poetical man ncKcripuve, onnc count of the numerous trlitterinz cascades that come tine ing and leaping down from the lofty mountains by which 11 is gin on bii uues put inn veuwaru one. is evidently the waste of this which contri butes to widen the other, it being the only one in the vicinity capable of furnishing the ma terial. If the plain was of gradual lbrmation by successive increment, as a natural conse quence the surface soil would be deepest on the inland or older portion, whereas it is of the same thickness one hundred yards from the sea as at the ancient line of coast. More over, a transverse section of both the ancient and modern beaches, exhibits a ridge com posed of coral in considerable fragments, en tire shells, Echinidcs, kc. mixed with a rath er coarse coralline sand, and if the interven ing space were merely a succession of similar beaches there is no reason why it should not be similarly constituted. But instead of this it contains only a few scattered corals in small pieces, the shells in it are small and broken up and the sand is very fine, much of it being of volcanic origin; the whole appear ing like the finer and heavier particles, now being washed from the beach and carried seaward by the recoil and undertow of the surf. Adding to these facts that of the dip northward, ol the lower bed ol laminar con cretions, I think the plain of Hanalei should be classed among the instances of elevation by subterranean forces. The manner in which the strata of cemented coralline sand arc tilted up in the vicinity of Wailua has al ready been described. At Anahola a few miles North of this, half a mile from the sea is a remarkable beach, more than a mile in length, consisting of a mixture of loose corals, shells and sand, deposited in very regular curved strata. From this and all the other old beaches a sandy plain, with a thin coat ing of soil extends to the present coast. " 1 hat section of the coast at Kauai, de signated by the natives as Na Pali, or "the Precipices," which from Hamakoa on the North, to Lapa on the West, extends about twelve miles in an unbroken, inaccessible wall of sub-columnar lava, from eighteen hundred to twenty-five hundred feet high, exhibits continuous traces of exposure to the action of the waves, several feet above the line of cav ities now being worn by the surf. "At Molokai, an island a few miles North west of Maui. Mr. B. Munn, teacher for the Mission, assured me that he had seen masses of coral apparently in their original position, imbedded in calcareous rocks, one hundred and even one hundred and fifty feet above sea level. I suspect, however, that here is some error, either of calculation or observa tion, having seen nothing on any of the other islands to warrant the belief in such an ele vation as this would indicate. Still from the testimony of all the missionaries, there can be no question of the fact that there are real ly in Molokai raised coral beaches of height at least equal to those of Oahu and Kauai. " By the statements of several persons who have long been residents on Oahu, the eleva tion there is at present going forward at a very perceptible rate. Henry A. Pcirce, Esq., an American merchant who has dwelt at Honolulu for upwards of sixteen years, and whose high intelligence and habits of close observation entitle his opinion on this point to much respect, has informed me that large portions of tho reef on both sides of the har bor, which at his first arrival were never un covered by the sea, have since then risen so much as to be now bare every tide at low wutcr; other parts which were within his knowledge exposed only at that stage, are now naked an hour before it, and the sea has in the same time receded as much as thirty feet from places where canoes were accus tomed to land.J In all departments of Natural Science Mr. C. appears to be a close and diligent obser ver. While at these islands his time was occupied in exploring their features. No thing escaped his notice, from the minutest shell to the grandest exhibition of volcanic strife. Wc close our extracts by giving his tidal observations, and conclusions respect ing the absence and presence of coral in different situation in the same latitudes. The entrances to the reefs which form our harbors he presumes to have been occn sioned by fresh water; which acts detrimen t Amonjr the evidences of the slow increase of corals, at adei to on page 2, wore included through inadvertence, experiments macie at long intervals on the depth or chan nels and upon well known reefs. Theme should be net aside, since it is clear that such depth might l e increased or diminished by a subsidence or elevation of the reef, and therefore no correct inference as to the growth of the corals composing it can be drawn from such experiments. tally upon the polypes, and which flowing in certain directions, prevented the insects from continuing their labors at those spots. This is a plausible theory, judging simply from the uniformity of these openings with tho streams that pour their water into the ocean near where they occur; a fact which the most casual observer cannot fail to have noticed. " Since the remarks upon the Influence of tides upon reef channels, in a preceding por tion of this communication, have been in press, it has occurred to me that in connec tion with that topic it will be proper to speci fy several erroneous assertions relative to the tides generally throughout Polynesia; which derive importance from the name of their authors justly possessing much weight, not less with scientific readers than the public generally. "Capt. Bccchey, in the "Voyage of the Blossom," part I. Chap. IX. Lond. Ed., speaking of tides in the harbors of Tahiti, re marks, " At Toanoa, it is usually low water -.1 A !.. 1 , , . . - uuoui six every morning, anu nign water half an hour afternoon," and attributes this pecu liarity to the sea breeze by day, forcing the water into the harbor, which is a lagoon be tween the reef and shore; adding, " as tho Muiu uimies, me water sudsiocs, and the nights being generally calm, the water finds its lowest level by morning." " Now the first ofthese propositions, though strictly true, is only a partial statement, con- veying, ana (as is evident trom the context) designed to convey, the idea that the flood tide lasts only about six hours, while the ebb continues for eighteen, from noon of one dar till six the next morning. The second quota tion contains a positive mis-statement, in the first place, at Toanoa, as in all the har bors of Tahiti and the other Society Islands, it is full sea regularly twice in twenty-four . hours, and always about noon and midnight; and low water about six o'clock, morning and evening. The mornings are calm for per haps eleven months in the year, the trade wind or sea breeze commonly setting in about eleven o'clock, and prevailing in its greatest strength from noon till four or five P. M. It then dies away, and by eight or nine P. M. there is a dead calm which continues till the next forenoon. " Thus instead of the tide being forced in to the harbor by the sea breeze, we find that a great part of the day and all the night flood takes place during a calm, whereas during the afternoon, the water ebbs rapidly against the full power of the breeze. Even if Capt. TJ . - ..A 1 i il. J A ij. us tuntci, in reguru 10 me duration Ol the ebb and flood, his explanation would not reach the case of those harbors on the lee ward side of the islands, where the trades are not felt, and yet the tides follow the same course as those on the opposite side. " In Kotzebue's account of his voyage round the world, he also has given currency to very inaccurate statements on this subject. I L ' - I - m i f 1 . in ins re.mai ks on i anui, we nna tne ioiiow ing passage. " Every noon, the whole year round, the moment the sun touches the me ridian, the water is highest, and falls with the sinking sun, till midnight." "It would be a difficult matter, to crowd in as few words a greater number of errors than are here contained. They convey a false impression that the tides are governed entirely by the sun; represent them as diur nal instead of semi-diurnal, and name as the hour for the daily recurrence of low water, that when it is actually full sea. Neither is it always high water, as he asserts, "the mo ment the sun touches the meridian," though this, compared with tho rest, is but a trivial misrepresentation. So well are the facts I have stated, known to the natives, whose habit of daily visiting the reef to catch fish, which are a principal article of their food, has made them naturally observant of the tides; and who to this day have little idea of our divisions of time; that instead of asking what hour it is, or how high is the sun, they inquire " Where is the sea?" I do not at tempt to explain this singular deviation from the laws elsewhere governing this phenom enon, but merely state what I know from per sonal observation to be the facts of the case. " Capt. Becchy also remarks in the work cited, that "the tides in all harbors formed by coral reefs, are very uncertain, and ard almost wholly dependent on the sea breeies," So far however is this from being the case.,, that throughout the Harvey, Samoan, and