No. 436
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
August 20, 2019

Surf Swimming at Hawaii, Sandwich Islands.

Faahee, or surf-swimming, is a favorite pastime with the natives of the Sandwich Islands.
April 21, 2015
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Photo of Cindy Weber in the "Red Deer Advocate," October 23, 1981, via Newspapers.com Every missing-persons story is tragic, of course. However, I know of few such cases that are both as heart-breakingly sad and utterly peculiar as the following disappearance. It reads like a psychological horror movie, with an almost Fortean ending. People inevitably called Cynthia "Cindy" Weber of
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Strange Company - 8/19/2019

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By Jo Anne Giovino with photography and research by Barbara Morrissey and Kristin Pepe *(All rights reserved, August 2019) Although …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 7/31/2019

The hanging, and then posthumous beheading and head-spiking, of the Virginia slave Abram lacks any firmer primary date than the signature given this Richmond newspaper report that was later widely reprinted in the young United States. (Our text here hails from the Hartford, Conn. American Mercury, September 18, 1800.) A HORRID MURDER. Capt. John Patterson, […]
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Executed Today - 8/19/2019
Jeff and Joe Soapy Smith buries Joe Simmons The Illustrated Police News April 9, 1892 (Click image to enlarge) oe Simmons was a tall, slender gambler known to many as “Gambler Joe” Simmons, a member of the Soap Gang who managed Soapy Smith's Tivoli Club in Denver, 1890, and Soapy's Orleans Club in Creede, 1892. According to William Devere’s poem "Two Little Busted Shoes," Simmons
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 3/25/2019
(sic) Mary Catherine Anderson—Katie to her friends—was in good spirits when she went out the evening of Monday, February 7, 1887. 16-year-old Katie Anderson was a domestic servant living at the home of her employer, Stat Colkitt on his farm in Mount Holly, New Jersey. She said she was just going out for a walk, but Katie was not seen again until Tuesday morning when a neighboring farmer found
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Murder By Gaslight - 8/17/2019

The neighborhood surrounding St. Mark’s Church on Second Avenue and 10th Street owes its charm to the descendants of the Stuyvesant family. These were the great-great grandsons and granddaughters of Petrus Stuyvesant, the director-general of New Netherland from 1647-1664. In the late 1700s and early 1800s, these Stuyvesants lived in stately houses on land that […]
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Ephemeral New York - 8/19/2019
[Editor’s note: Guest writer, Peter Dickson, lives in West Sussex, England and has been working with microfilm copies of The Duncan Campbell Papers from the State Library of NSW, Sydney, Australia. The following are some of his analyses of what he has discovered from reading these papers. Dickson has contributed many transcriptions to the Jamaica Family […]
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Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
Said She Would and Did. | Society Women Turn Burglars.

Surf Swimming at Hawaii, Sandwich Islands.

Surf Swimming

Surf Swimming at Hawaii, Sandwich Islands. [more]

Faahee, or surf-swimming, is a favorite pastime with the natives of the Sandwich Islands. According to Ellis, a recent writer, “Individuals of all ranks and ages, and both sexes, follow this sport with great avidity. They usually select the openings in the reefs or entrances of some of the hays, where the long, heavy billows rolled in unbroken majesty upon the reef or the shore. They used a small board, which they called papa faahee—swam from the beach to a considerable distance, sometimes nearly a mile—watched the swell of the wave, and when it reached them, they mounted on its summit, and amid the foam and spray rode on the crest of the wave to the shore; sometimes they halted among the coral rocks, over which the waves broke in splendid confusion. When they approached the shore, they slid off the board, which they grasped in the hand, and either fell behind the wave or plunged toward the deep and allowed it to pass over their heads.

“Sometimes they were thrown with violence upon beach, or among the rocks on the edges of the reef. So much at home, however, do they feel in the water, that it is seldom any accident occurs.

“I have often seen among the border of the reef, forming the boundary line to the harbor of Fare in Huahine, from 50 to 100 persons, of all ages, sporting like so many porpoises in the surf that has been rolling with foam and violence toward the land; sometimes mounted on top of the wave, and almost enveloped in spray, at other times plunging beneath the mass of water that has swept like mountains over them, cheering and animating each other ;and by the noise and shouting they made, rendering the roar of the sea and the dashing of the surf comparatively imperceptible.”

 


Reprinted from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, April 7, 1866.