In an effort to create a contemporary (or relatively contemporary) Platonic dialogue, I have been working on piecing together journals and letters related to a Hawaiian pastor's calling to Fort Vancouver in the mid-1800s. This pastor, William Kaulehelehe, ended up being in the center of an international conflict at the fort, as a loyal British subject ousted from his home on the banks of the Columbia River, as the U.S. Army tried to bring order to the frontier in the Pacific Northwest. That's a much longer story, but my hope with this part of the dialogue is to present the rhetoric of the period as it influenced his decision but also as it reflected attitudes of the period, and rhetorical strategies.
I'm using the Twitter format as an inspiration and basically taking the actual historic text and adapting it only slightly to the faux-Twitter format.
First comes the script, a draft of which follows, with the analysis to come:
@RevBeaver: @HudsonsBayCo An ordinary, respectable countryman @FortVancouver, with his wife, might promote good behaviour of Sandwich Islanders
@ChiefFactor John (John McLoughlin): Need a trusty educated Hawaiian of good character to read the scriptures and assemble his people for public worship.
@GerritJudd (adviser to the Hawaiian king): @ChiefFactorJohn Wm. R. Kaulehelehe, @WRKaulehelehe!
McLoughlin: Need him to teach, too. And interpret.
Judd: Not as well-qualified as the first person selected but @WRKaulehelehe has good character, is faithful, industrious, and a skillful teacher. High recommendation.
McLoughlin: 10 pounds per annum
Judd: @WRKaulehelehe in regular standing as a member of the church. Wife accompanies him, no doubt will prove herself useful.
McLoughlin: 40 pounds per annum
Judd: @WRKaulehelehe @MaryKaai Go to the Columbia District? 3-4 weeks voyage away. Parish awaits.
Kaulehelehe: Aloha! @KawaiahaoChurch Aloha! @FortVancouver
And I'm working on a delivery prototype that will end up looking something like this:
- ▼ October (7)
- ► 2009 (68)