SPLENDID NEW WORKING CLASS CITIZEN MATERIAL FROM SPAIN NOW HERE TO CALL HAWAII HOME

Hawaiian Star, front page, 27 April 1907.

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“My grandmother (child in front) and her family arrived to Hawaii aboard the Heliopolis in 1907.”  –photo and caption courtesy of Robert Martínez

When Columbus discovered America he knelt and offered a prayer of thanksgiving, according to history, and when the Spaniards discovered Honolulu this morning they also bent the knee and supplemented the act of adoration by fireworks.

Daylight fireworks in the grounds of a United States immigration station is something unusual So thought inspector Raymond Brown today when he heard a sizzling, hissing, sky-rockety sound and rushed out to see what was up.

There was a little group of bare-headed Spanish men and women, with rapt face turned toward the morning sun, and in their midst one of the immigrants was shooting off rocket after rocket as sort of an announcement to high heaven that their long journey was at an end an to God and the Hawaii Board of Immigration belonged all the glory.

Two thousand tho hundred eighty four men, women and children not counting three stowaways landed on Hawaiian soil between 7:40 and 9:40 o’clock this morning from the British immigrant steamship Heliopolis. 47 days from Malaga, Spain, which was off the harbor and examined by the quarantine officials yesterday afternoon and lifted er anchor to enter the harbor at 6:15 a.m. today, docking at the channel wharf at 7 o’clock sharp.

The great open ports, that permitted the egress of the lot of new citizen material, faced the growing daylight which made beautiful every thing upon which their eyes first fell when they marched ashore.

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Passengers preparing to embark on the Heliopolis, Málaga, March, 1907.  Photo appeared in the publication “Nuevo Mundo,” April 1907.

Eleven hundred, half of the multitude, are under fourteen years of age. They are sturdy looking little ones, these children the large majority, and their parents are wholesome appearing people for the most part. Poorly but cleanly dressed, packing baby-chairs, small boxes and trunks, bags full of clothes, sacred articles of household furniture, souvenirs of the homes left far behind in the old world, articles which are to be the nuclei of new, it is hoped, better homes here, trudged one after the other in a long, wondering, observing, happy-looking line from the towering immigrant ship, through the channel wharf shed, across the road to the fresh, green lawns and tidy grounds of the Federal immigration station to undergo the examination and registration required before they are fully admitted to the Paradise of the Pacific.

Inspector Brown had his coat off and every now and then would take a sailor’s hitch at his suspenderless white flannels. He had his hands full and his head full, and his hear full too, for there were, of necessity in so great a crowd and after so long and continued a voyage, several little lives just going out and the doctor had to be called here, and a dose of medicine administered there, and a hurried call for the whisky bottle had to be attended to.

Among so many children it is remarkable that more are not sick. As it is, but eight cases of contagious disease at present exist in “New Madrid,” seven of measles and one of mumps.

A number have already been segregated on account of trachoma, and where one member of a family is sick the whole family is put apart, so that the members need not be separated.

There were a few deaths among the children during the voy age and the original shipment from Málaga was somewhat increased on the journey by births to the number of about two score. Life prevailed over death by several points. The increase has not shown any signs of ceasing and returns are expected daily.

The men of the crowd are a hardy looking lot, though they do not as a rule run to longitude. Many appear lazy in manner, but perhaps there is more nonchalance than downright laziness in their composition. They are good family men, if one may judge by the concern shown for their offspring. They seem ready to relieve the often overburdened mothers as much as possible in the matter of caring for the youngsters.

Religion percolates the host of immigrants as meat streaks the bacon fat. Among them is

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Priest who accompanied the immigrants aboard the Heliopolis.

a priest. They would not come without him. His blessing at a birth, his comfort at a death, his continued prophecy of sure arrival in the new country and his invocations in the night watches for the cessation of the storm, were as the voice of a father to his fearful children.

Among them there will develop villains, men in whose blood is the brew of brigands, men who will wield the knife when angered and need the strong hand of the law when steeped in wine, but by far the greatest number of these men are honest, reliable, reasonable, wholesome, clean-minded, children- and home- and wife-loving men whose philosophy is practical as it is sometimes picturesque.


Among them there will develop villains, men in whose blood is the brew of brigands, men who will wield the knife when angered and need the strong hand of the law when steeped in wine, but by far the greatest number of these men are honest, reliable, reasonable, wholesome, clean-minded, children- and home- and wife-loving men whose philosophy is practical as it is sometimes picturesque.


And the women, they are workers and helpers and made of stern stuff, for they are poor and know what is endurance, suffering and labor. They came with glad smiles and happy hopes, looking upon Hawaii as a promised land. Theirs is to write much of Hawaii’s future history. Among the girls are the someday mothers and grandmothers of governors, legislators, supervisors, priests, merchants, teachers and leaders. Beauty is well represented. There are many beautiful maids among them and in their eyes are fair promises for Hawaii.

The boys are a vigorous lot and eager. The rising generation of these immigrants will be the greatest return on the investment of this big migration.

But little trouble was experienced throughout the voyage from Malaga. Once or twice the cook spoiled the bread and disturbances were threatened. One man, of an ugly disposition showed an inclination to lead an uprising which was promptly settled by the right hand of a ship’s office carefully placed under the tip of the jaw. The ship’s doctor, as may be imagined, was kept busy. The vessel was crowded and there was, of course much to be put up with. But the accommodations aboard the Heliopolis were way above those the Suveric had when she brought the Portuguese shipment from the Azores and Madeira.


Among the girls are the someday mothers and grandmothers of governors, legislators, supervisors, priests, merchants, teachers and leaders.


In a little galvanized iron shed at the mauka end of the channel wharf are the offices of Walter F. Dillingham and Consul Canavarro. [Dillingham was appointed, it will be remembered, by the Hawaii Board of Immigration to look after the immigrants after they should be passed by the Federal immigration authorities and Consul Canavarro will be on hand as long as the people are being handled to listen patiently to all complaints and to set all troubles right.

For some reason no one was allowed aboard the Heliopolis. The master of the ship, according to the first officer, had given such orders. Not that anybody was particularly desirous of going aboard, except in the interests of duty, for an immigrant ship is about the most ill-smelling thing in the world. Nothing exceeds the unpleasant odor unless it be that which emanates from a still larger immigrant vessel.

This forenoon all the families with sick members were transferred to quarantine island, where they will be well cared for; children dying upon arrival will be buried or cremated this afternoon. Tomorrow morning it is hoped that the Hawaiian band will play for the immigrants.

Over eight hundred bunks have been arranged on the channel wharf for the accommodation of women and children as they are passed by the immigration authorities and until they are disposed of on various plantations.

This morning numerous representatives of sugar plantations and other citizens viewed the newcomers and the general opinion was, as nearly as could be gathered, that they were a far better looking lot of people than those brought here in the Suveric.

Inspector Raymond Brown is of the opinion that they are a most desirable people and so expressed himself this morning. From his close observation he believes they could not easily be excelled as a lot of immigrants.

There is one among the immigrants who represents a newspaper of Madrid. He is a young, adventurous sort of chap, evidently, for he has undergone the hardships of an immigrant ship for the express purpose of writing back the story of the journey, the reception and prospects in Hawaii. He is Señor Brozas and he will go along with a family, like the rest to a plantation and do his share of the work, remaining incog as far as possible. Incidentally he is going to look up grape growing possibilities for certain home interests. He is authority for the statement that the present expedition received the blessing of the Pope, which is doubtless some satisfaction to the religious members of the crowd.

As a matter of form an investigation will be held here by the immigration authorities into the incidents of the journey, treatment aboard ship and the conditions under which the people embarked. It is believed that everything will be found absolutely satisfactory.

The Heliopolis goes hence to Hong-Kong to load for an English port or Dublin.

hawaiaanstar27April,1907.

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Further reading:

Eye-Witness Account of the Heliopolis Journey

SS Heliopolis in the News, March 1907

 

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One Response to SPLENDID NEW WORKING CLASS CITIZEN MATERIAL FROM SPAIN NOW HERE TO CALL HAWAII HOME

  1. Patricia Steele says:

    This is so interesting. Now that I learned some of my Ruiz people were on the Heliopolis, I have more information for my book. Thanks so much! Patricia

    *Patricia Steele* http://www.patriciabbsteele.com Patricia Steele AUTHOR Page Amazon Author Page

    On Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 9:12 AM, Spanish Immigrants in the United States wrote:

    > espanyu posted: “Hawaiian Star, front page, 27 April 1907. When Columbus > discovered America he knelt and offered a prayer of thanksgiving, according > to history, and when the Spaniards discovered Honolulu this morning they > also bent the knee and supplemented the act of ” >

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