On this day in 1835, Titus Coan and his wife, Fidelia, arrived in Honolulu, Hawaii to commence his missionary labors that would span over forty years.

In December of 1834, the Coans had set sail for Hawaii under the sponsorship of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.  They were members of the Seventh team of missionaries sent over by the Board to work in the mission started on Hawaii.  After a journey of over six months, Titus was finally able to write:

My eyes at last behold these ‘isles afar off,’ and my feet tread on these long desired shores. And I would here first record the goodness of God in guiding us through all the perils of the deep and in bringing us to the field of our labors.

The glory and splendor of God’s creation never escaped Titus and, after forty years of laboring on these Islands, he still remembered the sight that caught his eye the day he arrived on Hawaii:

The ecstatic romance with which I first saw these emerald isles has not abated by familiarity or by age. The picture is photographed in unfading tints upon my heart, and it has become to me the romance of reality. Where can you find within so small a space such a collecting, such massing, such blending of the bland, the beautiful, the exquisite, the gorgeous, the grand and the terrific as on Hawaii?

Along the summits of our lofty mountains the God of glory thundereth, while the overhanging clouds send down the rattling hail and drop the fleecy snow. There telluric fires find vent and send up columns of melted rocks to the heavens, spreading out in baleful glare like a burning firmament. The crashing thunder, the vivid lightning, the rending earthquake and the bursting volcano we have in the near proximity of the peaceful village, the grassy landscape, the sweet flower garden, the cultivated field, the babbling brook, the tropical fruits and ferns, the waving palm, the golden sunshine, the stellar vault above and the surrounding ocean whose swelling bosom moves with the zephyr and the tempest, while her white foam girdles with glory our rock-bound shores.”


Titus Coan, A Memorial

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