American Girl in the Hawaiian Islands: Letters of Carrie Prudence Winter, 1890-1893
Editors: Sandra Bonura, Deborah Day
Hardcover, 456 pp.
In generous excerpts from dozens of letters, Carrie Prudence Winter describes teaching and living with her pupils, her relationships with fellow teachers, and her encounters with Hawaiian royalty (in particular Kawaiahaʻo enjoyed the patronage of Queen Lili'uokalani, whose adopted daughter was enrolled as a pupil) and members of influential missionary families, as well as ordinary citizens. She discusses the serious health concerns (leprosy, smallpox, malaria) that irrevocably affected the lives of her students and took a keen (if somewhat naive) interest in relaying the political turmoil that ended in the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands by the U.S. in 1898.
This work is augmented by more than fifty photographs, four autobiographical student essays, and an appendix identifying all of Winter's students and others mentioned in the letters. A foreword by education historian C. Kalani Beyer provides a context for understanding the Euro-centric and assimilationist curriculum promoted by early schools for Hawaiians like Kawaiahaʻo Seminary and later the Kamehameha Schools and Mid-Pacific Institute.