Summary: Beginning in 1866 and continuing for over a century, more than eight thousand people suspected of having leprosy were forcibly exiled to the Hawaiian island of Molokai -- the longest and deadliest instance of medical segregation in American history. Torn from their homes and families, these men, women, and children were loaded into shipboard cattle stalls and abandoned in a lawless place where brutality held sway. Many did not have leprosy, and many who did were not contagious, yet a
ll were ensnared in a shared nightmare. Here, for the first time, John Tayman reveals the complete history of the Molokai settlement and its unforgettable inhabitants. It's an epic of ruthless manhunts, thrilling escapes, bizarre medical experiments, and tragic, irreversible error. Carefully researched and masterfully told,The Colonyis a searing tale of individual bravery and extraordinary survival, and stands as a testament to the power of faith, compassion, and the human spirit.
Summary: Beginning in 1866 and continuing for over a century, more than eight thousand people suspected of having leprosy were forcibly exiled to the Hawaiian island of Molokai -- the longest and deadliest instance of medical segregation in American history. Torn from their homes and families, these men, women, and children were loaded into shipboard cattle stalls and abandoned in a lawless place where brutality held sway. Many did not have leprosy, and many who did were not contagious, yet all were ensnared in a shared nightmare. Here, for the first time, John Tayman reveals the complete history of the Molokai settlement and its unforgettable inhabitants. It's an epic of ruthless manhunts, thrilling escapes, bizarre medical experiments, and tragic, irreversible error. Carefully researched and masterfully told,The Colonyis a searing tale of individual bravery and extraordinary survival, and stands as a testament to the power of faith, compassion, and the human spirit. ...show less
Edition/Copyright:06 Cover: Paperback Publisher:Charles Scribner's & Sons Published: 01/09/2007 International: No
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Run (Population 1,143) By nine-thirty in the evening on the final Tuesday in June 1893, Deputy Sheriff Louis Stolz had one fugitive in chains. He pulled his prisoner along a twisty shoulder of valley, the path lit by an almost-full moon, until he reached a meadow studded with volcanic rock. At the field's far edge sat a white wooden cottage, with one dark window on each side. Two men hid inside. A young Hawaiian named Kaluaikoolau, known as Koolau, crouched with his wife behind a boulder several yards from the cottage porch. ''I hear something,'' Koolau whispered to his wife, Piilani. They pressed into the stone, still warm from the sun. Across the meadow floated the sound of dragged links of iron. Koolau nodded toward the path. ''There are two of them,'' he told his wife. ''Have courage. We may be going to die.'' Just then the cottage door burst open and two forms streaked through the night. One man, a Hawaiian named Kala, sprinted toward Deputy Stolz. ''You stand still!'' Stolz shouted. He raised a rifle. ''You take care! Stop now!'' Piilani felt her husband shift and then stand. Koolau started toward the deputy. A crude triangle formed in the moonlight: Louis Stolz with his weapon trained on the unarmed Kala, and Koolau, standing between the two, covering the officer with a rifle of his own. Stolz began to slide to his right, and as the standoff's geometry shifted, Koolau moved to restore it. Stepping to his left, Koolau's bare foot caught a branch and he stumbled. As he fell, the rifle discharged. ''The reverberations of the gun sounded everywhere,'' Piilani later wrote, ''spreading the news of this terrible thing done on this unforgettable night.'' The bullet struck Stolz just south of his rib cage, tearing through his stomach. ''It hurts,'' he moaned, collapsing onto his back. In an instant Stolz's prisoner was upon him, cursing and striking the lawman with his iron cuffs. Koolau called for him to stop, and the prisoner retreated. Piilani clung to the boulder. Koolau turned to her and said, Run to the cliffs. Then another shout broke the quiet. The voice belonged to Paoa, the man whom Louis Stolz had arrested earlier that day. ''He is going to shoot!'' Paoa yelled. Peeking over the rock, Piilani saw that Stolz had partially gained his feet and had his rifle crooked weakly in an elbow's crease. She screamed and Koolau whirled to face the deputy sheriff. One more decision to make. Koolau stepped toward Louis Stolz, pointed his weapon at the center of his chest, and fired. The disease had struck the Hawaiian cowboy named Koolau four years earlier, in the spring of 1889 when he was twenty-six-years old. Piilani had been the first to notice the bright blemish on Koolau's cheek. It might have been sunburn had it not lingered, then deepened in color to scarlet. ''As I observed the appearance of my beloved husband,'' Piilani wrote years later, ''disturbed thoughts began to grow within me.'' Hawaiians of the era had several descriptive phrases for leprosy, but perhaps the most apt was ''the sickness that is a crime.'' If board of health agents discovered that Koolau showed signs of the disease, he would be forced onto a steamer bound for the leprosy hospital in Honolulu. From there he would be sent to the colony on the island of Molokai. Law would decree Piilani a widow and their six-year-old son fatherless. Officially, Koolau would be dead. So Koolau tried to hide his suspect flesh. A photograph from the time shows him in a flat-brimmed hat tugged low on his broad face, with a crisp white shirt buttoned high to the neck. Piilani stands holding the hand of their son, Kaleimanu. Koolau's mother is settled cross-legged on the grass between the young couple. Her son's gaze is distant, as if the box camera were a window revealing an unexpected view. Leprosy works with a tortuous deliberateness. A person becomes infected an
''This is a fascinating book, about disease and the startling responses to it, ranging from terror to love...a book full of heroes - and some villains. I was greatly enlightened by it.'' -- Paul Theroux
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