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Lyman to host talk on Henry Obookiah

<p>The newest edition of “Memoirs of Henry Obookiah” contains a new epilogue written by Deborah Liikapeka Lee, who will speak at the Lyman Museum on Feb. 18.</p><p>Courtesy photo</p>

On Monday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m., Hilo resident Deborah Li‘ikapeka Lee will speak at the Lyman Museum on the story of her ancestor, Henry Obookiah, who was considered the first fruit of Hawaiian Christian faith.

Lee will discuss Obookiah’s journey to New England, his return to the land of his birth, and the “Memoirs of Henry

Obookiah,” recently republished by the Woman’s Board of Missions for the Pacific Islands.

Obookiah was only 26 years old in 1818 when he died of typhoid fever in Connecticut, but a slim volume he wrote about his life and his feelings about his Christian faith, published shortly after his death, profoundly altered the course of Hawaii’s history. The newest edition of “Memoirs of Henry Obookiah” contains a collection of vintage and current photographs, as well as a new epilogue written by Lee.

In it, she documents how she led the effort to return Obookiah’s remains (iwi) to the Big Island, 175 years after he had been laid to rest in a Cornwall, Conn., cemetery.

Memoirs of Henry Obookiah will be available for purchase in the Museum Shop.

The Smithsonian-affiliated Lyman Museum is located at 276 Haili Street in Hilo. Public programs are $3 for nonmembers and free to Lyman Museum Members.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Call 935-5021 or visit for more information.


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