Oil Painting by Swiss artist Paul Emmert, dated 1853, showing smallpox quarantine hut against Diamond Head.




On Feb. 10, 1853, the Charles Mallory, from San Franciso, arrived off Honolulu Harbor flying a yellow flag, announcing an outbreak of dreaded smallpox. The ship was allowed to anchor off Waikiki but immediately put under strict quarantine. The six passengers, including artist Emmert, were vaccinated, ushered ashore, and isolated in the house depicted here, which was located at the edge of what is now Kapiolani Park. The ship remained quarantined for fourteen days, and presumably the passengers were restricted for the same length of time. The Marshall of the Hawaiian Kingdom, William C. Parke, was in charge of the temporary establishment and advanced money from his own pocket for the support of those confined.

This same year, 3,000 Hawaiians in Waikiki died of smallpox, a disease introduced to Hawai'i by European sailors.

Editors' note: Don't you wonder if William C. Parke "advanced money from his own pocket" for the support of these 3,000 smallpox victims?