Family Visits Yale, New Haven in Honor of Man Who Inspired Christianity in Hawaii

By Stannard, Ed | New Haven Register (New Haven, CT), June 20, 2017 | Go to article overview

Family Visits Yale, New Haven in Honor of Man Who Inspired Christianity in Hawaii


Stannard, Ed, New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)


NEW HAVEN >> During an early 19th-century journey from Hawaii, Henry Opukaha'ia spent time in New Haven that would begin his education and prove pivotal in bringing Christianity to his faraway home.

On Tuesday, descendants of Opukaha'ia -- often Americanized to Obookiah -- visited the city and Yale University, where their ancestor was found weeping on the steps of Connecticut Hall, wishing he could get an education like the students he saw around him.

They had come from Cornwall, where Opukaha'ia had been one of the first students of the short-lived Foreign Mission School, founded 200 years ago.

Opukaha'ia had traveled to Connecticut to mark the bicentennial of the school, which closed in 1826, but not before Opukaha'ia had inspired others to travel to Hawaii to bring the gospel to the indigenous people there. Opukaha'ia wouldn't make it back alive, dying of typhoid fever in 1818 at age 26, according to his distant cousin, Deborah Liikapeka Lee of Hilo, who led the effort to return his remains to Hawaii 24 years ago.

Opukaha'ia's story is one of "how a boy changed the course of Hawaii's history forever by inspiring the missionaries to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the islands and bring salvation and freedom to his people," Lee said.

Opukaha'ia's journey began when, during King Kamehameha's campaign to unite the Hawaiian islands, "his parents were killed in a tribal battle," Lee said. In trying to run away with his 2-year-old brother, a warrior's spear killed the younger boy, Lee said. Opukaha'ia's life was spared, but he was sent to live with the man who killed his family, Lee said.

"One day, he sees this ship, which is the Triumph, and he's curious about it, so he swims out and he's invited on board by the captain," Caleb Brintnall, said Lee, who insists her ancestor was a guest, not a stowaway.

Brintnall "was a sealing captain and he made several circumnavigations and he was a prominent member of the New Haven community," according to Christopher Cook of Kauai, who wrote "The Life of Henry Obookiah" and is coordinating the bicentennial in 2020 of the missionaries' landing in Hawaii.

When they arrived in New Haven, Brintnall took Opukaha'ia into his home, which is now the Yale club Mory's, although the building has been moved. Opukaha'ia then lived with Yale President Timothy Dwight IV. "He became a servant in Timothy Dwight's house," Cook said.

It was during this brief stay in New Haven that Opukaha'ia's life took a fateful turn.

Edwin Dwight, Timothy's cousin, was "the gentleman who finds Opukaha'ia weeping on the steps [of Connecticut Hall] and he asks, 'Why are you weeping?' and he says, 'I seek the knowledge in the books that the students are carrying under their arms,'" Lee said. Dwight, along with other Yale students, tutored Opukaha'ia, who had learned some English aboard ship but was otherwise uneducated.

Dwight then took Opukaha'ia with him to Cornwall when Dwight became the first principal of the Foreign Mission School, founded by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mission, which existed in order to train missionaries to bring Christianity back to their native culture. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Family Visits Yale, New Haven in Honor of Man Who Inspired Christianity in Hawaii
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.