Monday, January 31, 2011

Mary Dominis from Boston - Amanuensis Monday

Washington Place
Mary Dominis's home in Honolulu
built by her husband, Captain John Dominis in 1846
Mary Lambert Jones, born 3 August 1803 in Boston, died 25 April 1889 in Honolulu; married on 9 October 1824 at the 2nd Baptist Church in Boston to Captain John Dominis of Trieste, now Slovenia. They had three children, two daughters Mary Elizabeth and Frances Ann, and one son John Owen Dominis. Captain Dominis, his wife and son removed from Schenectady, New York to Hawaii in 1837 on board the ship Jones. Their two young daughters were left at boarding school.

In the articles below, it is mentioned that Mrs. Mary Dominis made a return trip to Boston. She was at that time, in 1841, visiting her daughters at school, but by the time she arrived in Schenectady both daughters had died of unknown causes (Mary died 9 May 1838, and Frances on 13 January 1842). I don't know if that was the cause of her trip or not. I do know that Mrs. Mary Dominis returned to Honolulu and never came back to America again. Her husband, Captain John Dominis, died on a voyage to China in 1846. Her son, Governor John Owen Dominis, married Lydia Kamekeha, who later became Queen Lili'uokalani.

Governor Dominis and his wife, then Princess, made a trip to Boston in 1887, on their way to Queen Victoria's Jubilee celebration in London. After she was widowed and removed from the throne, Queen Lili'uokalani returned to Boston in 1897, to visit the Jones family and cousins. Mary Lambert Jones was the sister to my 4x Great Grandmother, Catherine Plummer (Jones) Younger (1799 - 1828). There is no existing photograph or portrait of Mary Dominis.


The Hawaiian Gazette (Honolulu) 1865 -1918

April 26, 1887, page 8 Image 8
Permanent link:

“Editor Gazette- In the notices by your contempories of a reception to be held on the 23d inst., by the esteemed and venerable Mrs. Dominis, in commemoration of the semi-centennial of her arrival at the Islands, in the bark Jones, I notice some errors which it may be worth while to correct.

It is stated that since that time she has not left the island. On the 3d day of December, 1841, she embarked on the Ship Wm. Gray, Capt. Stickney, for Boston. On the 18th, fifteen days out, at 2 o’clock a. m., it being a bright starlight night, the ship barely escaped being wrecked upon Pennryhn Island. She arrived at her destination April 28, 1842. Mrs. Dominis returned to Honolulu in the bark Behring, Capt. B. F. Snow, sailing from Boston Nov. 2d, 1842, and arriving at Honolulu March 17th, 1843.

Captain Dominis finally left the Islands in the brig Henry Neilson on the 5th day of August 1846, instead of 1848, as per Polynesian of Aug. 8, 1846.

The writer was a fellow passenger with Mrs. Dominis and her son by both the Gray and Behring – I also infer from the notices I have read, that the recent mission semi-centennial held here, is supposed by some to have been of the establishment of this mission, which is a mistake. It was a commemoration of the fiftieth arrival of the seventh and largest reinforcement of the mission. The pioneer missionaries of A.B.C.F.M. arrived here in March, 1820, sixty-seven years ago.

S. N. Castle
April 25, 1887”

And in the second column, same page

“Reception to a Worthy Lady

Saturday last was the fiftieth anniversary of the arrival at these Islands of Mrs. Mary Dominis, mother of the Lieutenant-General John O. Dominis, and the event was fittingly observed by her numerous friends. Mrs. Dominis has continued to reside here-with the exception of a visit to Boston, in December 1841, returning to the islands in March, 1843- since her first landing on the Islands. An interesting letter, partly in this connection from the pen of the Hon. S. N. Castle appears in this issue. At 8 o’clock a. m. the venerable lady was serenaded by the Hawaiian Band, which continued to discourse sweet music on the premises throughout the day. At half-past 2 o’clock Mrs. Dominis held a reception, which was continued until close on to 6 o’clock, and a constant stream of friends and visitors called to pay their respects and tender their congratulations to this much respected lady, who received them all graciously and made them all welcome. A large number of the leading citizens of Honolulu were present, among whom were noticed Hon. A. S. Cleghorn and the Princess Ka’iulani, also the members of the Diplomatic and Consular corps. During the afternoon light refreshments were served to all present. “

To see more stories about the Jones, Dominis and Hawaiian royal family, please click on the surnames or HAWAII or LILIUOKALANI in the keywords listed in the right hand column of this blog.
Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

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