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Chapter 1 describes the life and works of Joseph Hoʻonaʻauao Kānepuʻu, who was born in Kalawao on the Kalaupapa Peninsula of Molokai in about 1824. Self-educated after attending the Congregationalist mission primary school, he became a teacher in the public schools on Oʻahu. He began his writing career in the late 1850s, with two series in the government newspaper Ka Hae Hawaii. He became an ardent supporter of the newspapers for the rest of his life, as well as a prolific writer. His contributions include the only known written version of an important Oʻahu legend, the moʻolelo of Hāmanalau; the longest version of the moʻolelo of Kana and Nīheu; a multipart geography of Molokai; and a history of the independent Hawaiian press from 1860 to 1878.

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