4th Largest Unofficial City in America!

June 22 The Pirates Take Off

Captain James Hunnewell had been living at Honolulu for six months now. He could have caught a ship to the Pacific coast or to China, and then on to Boston. He seems comfortable enough living in paradise. He did some trading, taking payment in piculs of sandalwood (a picul is a Chinese measurement, as they were the buyers for the fragrant sandalwood used as incense). The American noted ships coming and going, getting to know ships’ captains, officers and men who laid over in the harbor. When King Kamehameha had lived in Honolulu overseeing sea commerce, he’d designated a specific living area for sailors. The king had grass homes made for those captains who visited once or twice a year while they refitted their ships. A visited lasted weeks, if not months.

Hunnewell mingled with the Spanish crew, who called themselves patriots. Hunnewell noted they were in a hurry to resupply, already planning to leave that day! They had a load of sandalwood in the hold given by Kamehameha for their second ship. They asked about other islands, deciding to head for Atoi (Kauai). “They show no colors and have no papers. She has twenty men and two guns; the acting captain is J. Gribin. Captain Turner, or McDonald, late of the  [second] ship, is on board.” So it seems the Scottish captain who sailed for the revolutionary new Spanish republic, organizer of the mutiny, was perhaps disguising his identity. And wanting to get away from snoopy society who might act as witnesses if a case were to be brought against him.

How did these two get back together? Good question! MacDonald had double-crossed Gribin (or Griffith as another Honolulu resident would write about him later) during the original hijack off the coast of South America!


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