Rare Manuscript Donated to Bishop Museum Archives

KALIHI (KHNL) - Theodore B. Pitman, great-great grandson of Hilo High Chiefess Kino¹ole and Benjamin Pitman, arrived from Massachusetts recently with his wife Susan to present Bishop Museum with an original handwritten manuscript of Benjamin Pitman, entitled Reminiscences of My Early Life and Sojourn in Hawaii from 1836 to 1861. While only nine pages long, it records many personal observations of Hawaii and its people, including King Kamehameha III.

States Pitman of Kamehameha III: ³This young King was one of Nature¹s Noblemen possessed of a good heart and finer feelingsŠ It was my privilege to make his acquaintance, and a friendship grew out of this which continued during the rest of his life, some twenty-five years.²

³The manuscript is significant,² says educator Noelle Kahanu, ³Because much of what we have during this timeframe is seen through missionary eyes. As a merchant, and one who was wedded to High Chiefess Kino¹ole of Hilo, Pitman¹s observations are much less constrained. Bishop Museum is very grateful to the Pitman family for their generosity and their desire to see such heirlooms return to Hawai¹i.²

Vice-President of Cultural Resources Betty Lou Kam and Archives Collections Manager DeSoto Brown accepted the manuscript on behalf of Bishop Museum.

The manuscript will be become a part of Bishop Museum¹s vast Archives, where the largest collection of unpublished materials such as photographs, art, moving images, maps and audio recordings about HawaiŒi¹s history resides and is made available for study and research. The Bishop Museum Archives, located in the second floor of Paki Hall, is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m.; and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. The Archives is closed Sundays, Mondays, and holiday weekends. For more information, email library@bishopmuseum.org or call (808) 848-4148. Brief factual information and referrals in response to telephone inquiries are also provided.