Old characterization of missionaries is wrong

In regard to the Nov. 3 article on the restoration of Moku’ula, it is discouraging to me to still be reading at this date the tired old idea that the missionaries came to do good but stayed to do well.

This is implied in the paragraph which states: “Kamehameha III’s reign also saw the rising power of the missionaries who came to the islands to spread religion and to provide education.” (True.) “Eventually, they established businesses and took ownership of large tracts of land.” (Not true.)

The missionaries were not independently wealthy and received scant salaries and supplies from the Board of Missions in Boston. They were not able to buy much land at all, themselves; some parcels were gifted by the ali’i. Only a very few resigned from the mission and continued to stay on in Hawaii, as did Samuel Castle and Amos Cooke, who started a mercantile business in Honolulu.

It was in the next generations that entrepreneurial sons and grandsons of missionaries worked to start businesses and agricultural plantations, buying land when and where they could on the different islands.

Mary C. Sanford