Sanford Ballard Dole and His Hawaii: With an Analysis of Justice Dole's Legal Opinions

By Ethel M. Damon | Go to book overview

Chapter I

DECISION 1867

NEAR the end of his one year at Williams College, where he had entered as a Senior, Sanford Dole debated with himself which turning he should take on the road of life. Before leaving home he had known of his parents' wish that he should follow his father as a Christian minister among Hawaiians. Under wise guidance the future of these island people held much of promise. Many Hawaiians he counted as his personal friends, and to one of them on his home island of Kauai had been entrusted the job of luna or overseer on the plantation fields which Sanford himself had plowed in the hope that the proceeds might cover the expense of a year at college.

In some ways Christian work in his homeland seemed an obligation. But was it clearly destiny? Would his life as a preacher reach its highest usefulness? Just how much hung in the balance of this decision not even he could dream. In honest doubt he discussed it all by letter with his father and mother on Kauai:

By what life I can do the most good is yet to be decided. I envy those who have settled the question and have but to follow it out. I must do it soon, the end of the term must see this indecision ended. I need your prayers.

Four months later he had found his solution. Painful as was the necessity, he wrote home:

You shall no longer be in suspense as to my plans. I have deferred writing in regard to this, not wishing to say anything till I could write with certainty. I have decided to study law, with reference to practicing at Honolulu. I have given the subject much thought for months past,

-1-

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