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This former slave was the first missionary to teach ordinary Hawaiian children

Courtesy Gregory Nobles
University of Chicago Press

Betsey Stockton was born into slavery in New Jersey in 1798. Twenty-five years later, she stepped foot on the shores of Oʻahu in 1823, where she stayed for two years. She also spent time in Lahaina and was the first missionary to teach Hawaiian children — not the ali’i, but the commoners. She also trained Hawaiian teachers, who took over for her after she returned to the U.S. in 1825 to start a school and a church in Princeton, New Jersey.

Professor Emeritus Gregory Nobles at the Georgia Institute of Technology authored "The Education of Betsey Stockton: An Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom." The Conversation spoke with Nobles about Hawaiʻi's influence on the life of Stockton.

Extended Interview - Gregory Nobles
The Conversation - Feb. 6, 2023

This interview aired on The Conversation on Feb. 6, 2023. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Stephanie Han was a producer for The Conversation.
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