The probability of Hawaii being at some future time annexed to the United States may awaken an interest concerning education in that little kingdom of the Pacific. The schools there are much better than might be expected in such a remote corner of civilization. In Honolulu, the chief city of the group, there are a number of flourishing schools, both public and private, and some of them fit students for American colleges, Williams and Amherst especially. The success of the Hawaiian schools is almost entirely due to the efforts of Americans, and it is a pleasure to recall the fact that there are a number of Harvard graduates who largely influence the management and character of these institutions. Some of the schoolhouses were erected at considerable expense, and are composed of coral stone, which is an excellent substitute for brick. Even the natives receive a careful education, and are taught in the English language. Although the foreigners and natives attend separate schools, yet the same text books are used for both. American and English teachers are generally employed, and the standard American books are studied.
The Hawaiians excel in mathematics, but are hardly up to the average American intellect in other branches. They are particularly slow in acquiring foreign tongues, the English language, for instance, being almost too difficult for them. A little more than a hundred years ago, when these islands were discovered by Captain Cook, the inhabitants were sunk in degradation and superstition. A wonderful change has come over them since then, and may we not say that it is due to the influence of education.